December 15, 2017

Here we will learn, How to Add Billing Address Step on Magento2 Checkout page

1. Create new file Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/web/js/view/billing-address-step.js

define(
    [
        'ko',
        'uiComponent',
        'underscore',
        'Magento_Checkout/js/model/quote',
        'Magento_Checkout/js/model/step-navigator',
        'mage/translate'
    ],
    function (
        ko,
        Component,
        _,
        quote,
        stepNavigator,
        $t
    ) {
        'use strict';

        return Component.extend({
            defaults: {
                template: 'Webkul_BillingStep/view/billing-step'
            },

            //add here your logic to display step,
            isVisible: ko.observable(quote.isVirtual()),
            isVirtual: quote.isVirtual(),

            /**
			*
			* @returns {*}
			*/
            initialize: function () {
                this._super();
                if (!quote.isVirtual()) { //update condition if you need to enable for virtual products
                    // register your step
                    stepNavigator.registerStep(
                        'custom-billing-step',
                        null,
                        $t('Billing Address'),
                        this.isVisible, _.bind(this.navigate, this),
                        11
                    );
                }

            },

            /**
			* The navigate() method is responsible for navigation between checkout step
			* during checkout. You can add custom logic, for example some conditions
			* for switching to your custom step
			*/
            navigate: function () {

            },

            /**
			* @returns void
			*/
            navigateToNextStep: function () {
                stepNavigator.next();
            }
        });
    }
);

2. Now we need to create html template file (billing-step.html) defined in above file.
File: Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/web/template/billing-step.html

<!--The 'step_code' value from the .js file should be used-->
<li id="custom-billing-step" data-bind="fadeVisible: isVisible">
    <div class="step-title" data-bind="i18n: 'Billing Information'" data-role="title"></div>
    <div id="checkout-step-title" class="step-content" data-role="content">
        <form data-bind="submit: navigateToNextStep" novalidate="novalidate">
            <!-- ko foreach: getRegion('afterMethods') -->
            <!-- ko template: getTemplate() -->
            <!-- /ko -->
            <!-- /ko -->
            <div class="actions-toolbar">
                <div class="primary">
                    <button data-role="opc-continue" type="submit" class="button action continue primary">
                        <span>
                            <!-- ko i18n: 'Next'-->
                            <!-- /ko -->
                        </span>
                    </button>
                </div>
            </div>
        </form>
    </div>
</li>

3. Create Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/layout/checkout_index_index.xml

<page xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" layout="1column" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:framework:View/Layout/etc/page_configuration.xsd">
    <head>
        <css src="Webkul_CheckoutCustomization::css/style.css"/>
    </head>
    <body>
        <referenceBlock name="checkout.root">
                <arguments>
                    <argument name="jsLayout" xsi:type="array">
                        <item name="components" xsi:type="array">
                            <item name="checkout" xsi:type="array">
                                <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                    <item name="steps" xsi:type="array">
                                        <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                            <!-- The new step you add -->
                                            <item name="custom-billing-step" xsi:type="array">
                                                <item name="component" xsi:type="string">uiComponent</item>
                                                <item name="sortOrder" xsi:type="string">2</item>
                                                <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                    <item name="custom-billing" xsi:type="array">
                                                        <item name="component" xsi:type="string">Webkul_BillingStep/js/view/billing-address-step</item>
                                                        <item name="config" xsi:type="array">
                                                            <item name="title" xsi:type="string" translate="true">Billing Address</item>
                                                        </item>
                                                        <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                            <item name="customer-email" xsi:type="array">
                                                                <item name="component" xsi:type="string">Magento_Checkout/js/view/form/element/email</item>
                                                                <item name="displayArea" xsi:type="string">customer-email</item>
                                                                <item name="tooltip" xsi:type="array">
                                                                    <item name="description" xsi:type="string" translate="true">We'll send your order confirmation here.</item>
                                                                </item>
                                                                <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                                    <item name="before-login-form" xsi:type="array">
                                                                        <item name="component" xsi:type="string">uiComponent</item>
                                                                        <item name="displayArea" xsi:type="string">before-login-form</item>
                                                                        <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                                            <!-- before login form fields -->
                                                                        </item>
                                                                    </item>
                                                                    <item name="additional-login-form-fields" xsi:type="array">
                                                                        <item name="component" xsi:type="string">uiComponent</item>
                                                                        <item name="displayArea" xsi:type="string">additional-login-form-fields</item>
                                                                        <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                                            <!-- additional login form fields -->
                                                                        </item>
                                                                    </item>
                                                                </item>
                                                            </item>
                                                            <!-- merge your payment methods here -->
                                                            <item name="afterMethods" xsi:type="array">
                                                                <item name="component" xsi:type="string">uiComponent</item>
                                                                <item name="displayArea" xsi:type="string">afterMethods</item>
                                                                <item name="children" xsi:type="array">
                                                                    
                                                                </item>
                                                            </item>
                                                        </item>
                                                    </item>
                                                </item>
                                            </item>
                                        </item>
                                    </item>
                                </item>
                            </item>
                        </item>
                    </argument>
                </arguments>
        </referenceBlock>
    </body>
</page>

4. Create Webkul/CheckoutCustomization/Block/Checkout/LayoutProcessor.php to insert Billing Address form in the xml.

 

<?php

namespace Webkul\BillingStep\Block\Checkout;

use Magento\Checkout\Helper\Data;
use Magento\Framework\App\ObjectManager;

class LayoutProcessor
{
    /**
     * @var \Magento\Customer\Model\AttributeMetadataDataProvider
     */
    private $attributeMetadataDataProvider;

    /**
     * @var \Magento\Ui\Component\Form\AttributeMapper
     */
    protected $attributeMapper;

    /**
     * @var AttributeMerger
     */
    protected $merger;

    /**
     * @var \Magento\Customer\Model\Options
     */
    private $options;

    /**
     * @var Data
     */
    private $checkoutDataHelper;

    /**
     * @param \Magento\Customer\Model\AttributeMetadataDataProvider $attributeMetadataDataProvider
     * @param \Magento\Ui\Component\Form\AttributeMapper $attributeMapper
     * @param AttributeMerger $merger
     */
    public function __construct(
        \Magento\Customer\Model\AttributeMetadataDataProvider $attributeMetadataDataProvider,
        \Magento\Ui\Component\Form\AttributeMapper $attributeMapper,
        \Magento\Checkout\Block\Checkout\AttributeMerger $merger
    ) {
        $this->attributeMetadataDataProvider = $attributeMetadataDataProvider;
        $this->attributeMapper = $attributeMapper;
        $this->merger = $merger;
    }

    /**
     * @deprecated
     * @return \Magento\Customer\Model\Options
     */
    private function getOptions()
    {
        if (!is_object($this->options)) {
            $this->options = ObjectManager::getInstance()->get(\Magento\Customer\Model\Options::class);
        }
        return $this->options;
    }

    /**
     * @return array
     */
    private function getAddressAttributes()
    {
        /** @var \Magento\Eav\Api\Data\AttributeInterface[] $attributes */
        $attributes = $this->attributeMetadataDataProvider->loadAttributesCollection(
            'customer_address',
            'customer_register_address'
        );

        $elements = [];
        foreach ($attributes as $attribute) {
            $code = $attribute->getAttributeCode();
            if ($attribute->getIsUserDefined()) {
                continue;
            }
            $elements[$code] = $this->attributeMapper->map($attribute);
            if (isset($elements[$code]['label'])) {
                $label = $elements[$code]['label'];
                $elements[$code]['label'] = __($label);
            }
        }
        return $elements;
    }

    /**
     * Convert elements(like prefix and suffix) from inputs to selects when necessary
     *
     * @param array $elements address attributes
     * @param array $attributesToConvert fields and their callbacks
     * @return array
     */
    private function convertElementsToSelect($elements, $attributesToConvert)
    {
        $codes = array_keys($attributesToConvert);
        foreach (array_keys($elements) as $code) {
            if (!in_array($code, $codes)) {
                continue;
            }
            $options = call_user_func($attributesToConvert[$code]);
            if (!is_array($options)) {
                continue;
            }
            $elements[$code]['dataType'] = 'select';
            $elements[$code]['formElement'] = 'select';

            foreach ($options as $key => $value) {
                $elements[$code]['options'][] = [
                    'value' => $key,
                    'label' => $value,
                ];
            }
        }

        return $elements;
    }

    /**
     * Process js Layout of block
     *
     * @param array $jsLayout
     * @return array
     */
    public function process($jsLayout)
    {
        $attributesToConvert = [
            'prefix' => [$this->getOptions(), 'getNamePrefixOptions'],
            'suffix' => [$this->getOptions(), 'getNameSuffixOptions'],
        ];

        $elements = $this->getAddressAttributes();
        $elements = $this->convertElementsToSelect($elements, $attributesToConvert);
        // The following code is a workaround for custom address attributes
        if (isset($jsLayout['components']['checkout']['children']['steps']['children']['billing-step']['children']
            ['payment']['children']
        )) {
            $jsLayout['components']['checkout']['children']['steps']['children']['custom-billing-step']['children']
            ['custom-billing']['children'] = $this->processNewStepsChildrenComponents(
                $jsLayout['components']['checkout']['children']['steps']['children']['billing-step']['children']
                ['payment']['children'],
                $jsLayout['components']['checkout']['children']['steps']['children']['custom-billing-step']['children']
                ['custom-billing']['children'],
                $elements
            );

        }
        return $jsLayout;
    }

    /**
     * Appends billing address form component to payment layout
     *
     * @param array $paymentLayout
     * @param array $elements
     *
     * @return array
     */
    private function processNewStepsChildrenComponents(
        array $paymentLayout,
        array $newStepsLayout,
        array $elements
    ) {
        if (!isset($paymentLayout['payments-list']['children'])) {
            $paymentLayout['payments-list']['children'] = [];
        }

        if (!isset($newStepsLayout['afterMethods']['children'])) {
            $newStepsLayout['afterMethods']['children'] = [];
        }

        $component['billing-address-form'] = $this->getBillingAddressComponent(
            'shared',
            $elements
        );

        $newStepsLayout['afterMethods']['children'] = array_merge_recursive(
            $component,
            $newStepsLayout['afterMethods']['children']
        );

        return $newStepsLayout;
    }

    
    /**
     * Gets billing address component details
     *
     * @param string $paymentCode
     * @param array  $elements
     *
     * @return array
     */
    private function getBillingAddressComponent($paymentCode, $elements)
    {
        return [
            'component' => 'Magento_Checkout/js/view/billing-address',
            'displayArea' => 'billing-address-form-' . $paymentCode,
            'provider' => 'checkoutProvider',
            'deps' => 'checkoutProvider',
            'dataScopePrefix' => 'billingAddress' . $paymentCode,
            'sortOrder' => 1,
            'children' => [
                'form-fields' => [
                    'component' => 'uiComponent',
                    'displayArea' => 'additional-fieldsets',
                    'children' => $this->merger->merge(
                        $elements,
                        'checkoutProvider',
                        'billingAddress' . $paymentCode,
                        [
                            'country_id' => [
                                'sortOrder' => 115,
                            ],
                            'region' => [
                                'visible' => false,
                            ],
                            'region_id' => [
                                'component' => 'Magento_Ui/js/form/element/region',
                                'config' => [
                                    'template' => 'ui/form/field',
                                    'elementTmpl' => 'ui/form/element/select',
                                    'customEntry' => 'billingAddress' . $paymentCode . '.region',
                                ],
                                'validation' => [
                                    'required-entry' => true,
                                ],
                                'filterBy' => [
                                    'target' => '${ $.provider }:${ $.parentScope }.country_id',
                                    'field' => 'country_id',
                                ],
                            ],
                            'postcode' => [
                                'component' => 'Magento_Ui/js/form/element/post-code',
                                'validation' => [
                                    'required-entry' => true,
                                ],
                            ],
                            'company' => [
                                'validation' => [
                                    'min_text_length' => 0,
                                ],
                            ],
                            'fax' => [
                                'validation' => [
                                    'min_text_length' => 0,
                                ],
                            ],
                            'telephone' => [
                                'config' => [
                                    'tooltip' => [
                                        'description' => __('For delivery questions.'),
                                    ],
                                ],
                            ],
                        ]
                    ),
                ],
            ],
        ];
    }
}

5. Now overwrite https://github.com/magento/magento2/blob/2.1.9/app/code/Magento/Checkout/view/frontend/web/js/view/payment.js file to stop Payment Page Step before our Billing Address Step

Create File Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/requirejs-config.js

var config = {
    map: {
        '*': {
            "Magento_Checkout/js/view/payment": "Webkul_BillingStep/js/view/payment"
        }
    }
};

Now create this file in our BillingStep Module.
#File: Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/web/js/view/payment.js

6. Finally copy https://github.com/magento/magento2/tree/2.1.9/app/code/Magento/Checkout/view/frontend/web/js/view/payment directory and place in our Billing Step Module
Webkul/BillingStep/view/frontend/web/js/view

Now Clear the cache.
It will look like this:

Thanks

on December 15, 2017 05:08 PM tagged with Magento2 Checkout Step

Confused by all the different types of WordPress hosting you see on the Internet? Do not worry. We are here for you.

Because WordPress is so popular, it has spawned a massive industry of hosts offering all types of plans, from an affordable $3 per month shared plans to business-focused $700+ per month dedicated plans.

While that is generally a good thing because it means you have plenty of choices, it can also be confusing to beginners who are just getting started with WordPress hosting.

To help you pick the type of WordPress hosting that’s right for you, I’m going to spend this post looking at five types of WordPress hosting that you can use for your WordPress site.

5 Different Types Of WordPress Hosting Compared

When you choose a specific type of WordPress hosting, you’re generally engaging in a balancing act between three core concepts:

  • Price
  • Ease of use, both in terms of helpful WordPress features and technical knowledge
  • Performance, both in terms of page load times and ability to handle lots of traffic

Of course, there are always smaller individual features that differ between specific hosting providers, as well.

As I go through the following five options for WordPress hosting, you should see how these three concepts connect.

Shared Hosting – The Cheapest Type Of WordPress Hosting

This type of hosting is best for…beginner bloggers or people who have low-traffic websites and don’t want to spend a fortune on hosting.

Shared Hosting

Let’s start with shared hosting. This is the cheapest type of WordPress hosting and what I usually recommend to bloggers who are just getting started with their first WordPress site.

When you use shared hosting, you’re essentially sharing a web server with a bunch of the host’s other customers (hence it is called “shared” hosting).

Why would you want to share space? Well, the only reason is it turns out to be economical. By pooling resources, you pay very little, sometimes as low as a few dollars a month.

For example, Bluehost, something I usually recommend for beginners, starts at just $2.95 per month.

In addition, because shared WordPress hosting is often targeted towards beginners, it’s also fairly easy to use. That is, most shared hosts make it very easy for you to install WordPress and complete other basic actions, though they usually don’t offer many advanced features.

So if shared WordPress hosting is cheap and easy to use, what’s the downside?

Mainly performance.

Because multiple sites/people share the same server, your host limits the resources you can use, to create an environment that’s fair to everyone on the server.

So while shared hosting is perfectly fine for low-traffic sites, once your site starts to increase in traffic, you will naturally begin to outgrow the limits of your shared environment.

When that happens, you might want to upgrade to one of the other options on this list.

If you’re interested in shared WordPress hosting, here are some good hosts to get you started:

Managed WordPress Hosting – Lots Of Helpful WordPress Features

This type of hosting is best for…WordPress users who are willing to spend a little more for features like automatic updates, backups, security, and expert WordPress support.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a sort of catch-all phrase for hosting built on a variety of underlying technologies.

That is, you’ll find managed WordPress hosts using:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated servers

But because managed WordPress hosting is so popular in the WordPress community, I thought it still deserved its own category on this list.

While most managed WordPress hosts have good performances, the main draw of managed WordPress hosting is that it is already optimized for WordPress, which means you can just focus on creating content and marketing your site.

Managed WordPress hosts will usually take care of:

  • Updating your WordPress software
  • Backing up your site every day
  • Configuring performance-boosting technology like server-side caching and CDNs
  • Securing your site with things like WordPress-specific firewalls and other security measures

And, they will also often give you other helpful features like staging sites, along with expert WordPress support.

If you’re interested in managed WordPress hosting, here are some good hosts to get you started:

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) – An Upgrade From Shared WordPress Hosting

This type of hosting is best for…people who need more power than shared hosting can offer but still want to keep things fairly economical.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

A virtual private server, also known by the abbreviation VPS, sits somewhere between shared hosting and a dedicated server.

With a virtual private server, you’re still technically sharing space on a server with other users. But here’s how it is different from shared hosting:

You get a certain allotment of space all to yourself. That’s the “virtual private” in the name.

As a result, your plan is entirely isolated from other sites on the same server, which has a few benefits:

  • No need to share resources. Your site gets its own allotment of resources no matter what other sites are doing on your server.
  • More control over your server. Because your “virtual” space is private, rather than shared, you have more control over things like configuration and software.

Many hosting providers offer two types of virtual private servers:

  • Unmanaged – requires some networking knowledge because you’re responsible for configuring and managing your server.
  • Managed – your host “manages” the server for you, which eliminates the need for you to have technical knowledge.

Unless you know your way around running a web server, you should definitely go with Managed VPS hosting.

If you’re interested in VPS WordPress hosting, here are some good hosts to get you started:

Cloud Hosting Hosting – Plans To Fit All Sizes

This type of hosting is best for…all types of users because it’s easy to scale the resources (and prices). Some cloud hosting providers require technical knowledge, though.

Cloud Hosting Hosting

Cloud hosting is a new type of hosting where your site is hosted on cloud architecture, rather than a specific physical server.

One of the big benefits is scalability. Because of the underlying technology, you can quickly add or remove resources. For example, if your site receives a sudden traffic spike, you could quickly scale its resources during that spike and then go back to normal after the traffic spike finished.

While some of the previously mentioned hosts, like Kinsta, are actually built on cloud hosting technology, you can also find unmanaged cloud hosting providers.

With these providers, you’ll be responsible for:

  • Managing your server
  • Optimizing performance and resource usage

But if you’re technically sound, the upside is that you can get cheap, scalable and a high-performing WordPress hosting.

If you’re interested in cloud WordPress hosting, here are some good hosts to get you started:

  • DigitalOcean – affordable but requires technical knowledge to use.
  • Cloudways – helps make cloud WordPress hosting much more beginner-friendly and lets you choose from multiple cloud hosting providers.

Also read:

Dedicated Server – Expensive But Good For Performance

This type of hosting is best for…users with high-traffic sites in need of great performance with a big budget.

Dedicated Server

With dedicated WordPress hosting, you get an entire server to yourself. You don’t need to share resources (like shared hosting) or limit yourself to a virtual partition (like a VPS). You get 100% of the server to yourself.

The benefits of this are:

  • Performance – a powerful dedicated server is going to be able to deliver fast page load times even under high traffic.
  • Control – because you have the entire server, you’re free to customize your server as needed.

Like a VPS, you can find dedicated servers that are both:

  • Managed
  • Unmanaged

Obviously, the major drawback of a dedicated server is its cost. Even cheap dedicated servers cost somewhere around $100 a month while a more powerful dedicated server can easily put you back by $300+ per month (or more).

If you’re interested in dedicated WordPress hosting, most popular WordPress hosts offer dedicated options. Here are some to get you started:

Final Thoughts On WordPress Hosting

By now, I hope you have a good understanding of the different types of WordPress hosting that are available to you.

If you’re just getting started with WordPress, I recommend sticking with cheap shared hosting until your site starts to get a good amount of traffic.

Once that happens, you can consider upgrading to one of the more expensive options.

And if you want the simplest, most hands-off approach to hosting your WordPress site, paying for managed WordPress hosting is a good idea because your host will handle many of the technical details for you.

What type of WordPress hosting do you use? Let us know in the comments!

Here are a few hand-picked articles for you to read next:

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Beginners Guide To The Different Types Of WordPress Hosting is a post from ShoutMeLoud - Shouters Who Inspires

on December 15, 2017 05:07 PM tagged with WPEngine

It is not the asset that is bubble-prone, it’s the way people react to it, and debt buying is dangerous.

Joseph Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, explained how he had seen people putting their houses for mortgage in order to buy Bitcoin in a frenzy of not wanting to miss out.

It is a worrying trend, as these decisions are foolhardy to say the least, but moreso, they are dangerous -- as they have preceded other bubbles in the past. While the product (dot com sites, or housing) is not necessarily bubble-prone, the way in which people react to it can cause a pop.

Bitcoin is a speculative market, and it is in a feeding frenzy at the moment as people try and get in on the wild ride. But moves like buying Bitcoin in debt could lead to a catastrophic end for the currency.

Hallmarks of a speculative bubble

Bubble talk has dogged Bitcoin since before 2014 when it hit $1,000, with some saying it is in a bubble, ready to pop, others saying it's just the beginning, and others not even caring, just looking to profit.

Really, there is no way to tell if this is a classic bubble scenario, but what is evident is that there are signs that it could be. However, the caveat to that is again that it is not the product that causes the pop, it is the reaction of people.

Bitcoin and the culture surrounding it has triggered a lot of greed, with incredible stories of wealth and profit, and that’s fuelling the latest trend of individual adoption.

Angela Walch, a law professor at St. Mary's University in Texas who studies cryptocurrency and financial stability, spoke to Vice about the speculative nature of Bitcoin and its potential to turn into a bubble if silly decisions keep flourishing.

Some of the factors to consider when trying to find a potential bubble are already evident according to Walch:

“Some of the hallmarks to me involve the FOMO idea—the fear of missing out and never being able to get in. People see other people making a lot of money and they just want in on it. The housing bubble is a good example of that. People thought another person would always want to buy their house from them at a higher price.”

Another aspect that she notes that is similar to other bubbles is the hype:

“It’s the way people are talking about it. The media just continues to talk it up, and the people that the media interview are, too. And people keep saying, "This time is different. It's not a bubble.”  Another feature of a bubble is the failure of people to understand what they're investing in at all. They forgot that. People are making money, so they just want to jump in.”

Don’t put your house on it

However, these signs pale in comparison to some of the more extreme measures people are taking to get involved, and it is those who are going into debt to buy Bitcoin that are the true concerns.

“I saw that headline [about people mortgage their house for Bitcoin], and that really frightened me, because taking out debt to invest is how people end up getting into trouble. That was at the heart, in many ways, of the financial crisis. People thought their investments could only go up, and when they went down, they couldn't pay back the debt. If enough people do that and can't pay back their debt that they borrowed to buy Bitcoin, the lenders can eventually be affected by that, and it can just spiral through the system.”

on December 15, 2017 04:18 PM tagged with Bitcoin Price

The Blockchain is creating new chances for a more transparent charity sector.

CharityStars is an online fundraising auction platform for the nonprofit sector that launched a series of auctions with prominent leaders in the Blockchain space.

The auctions which will be closed on Dec. 18, include meetings with Dr. Julian Hosp, co-founder and President of TenX, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash, Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, and more.

“We believe that joining forces with such reputable leaders will not only draw deserved attention to the charities in need but also highlight the staggering benefits that this emerging technology can bring to the nonprofit sector.”

Francesco Nazari Fusetti, CEO of CharityStars

“As the use of cryptocurrencies and the adoption of Blockchain become more mainstream, the early adopters of this technology have a great deal of responsibility. At the forefront of this revolution the onus is on us to raise awareness, not only of what the technology can achieve but how we must work together as a community to achieve it.”

Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift

Proceeds from auctions

All proceeds from these auctions will be donated to the Blockchain Education Network (BEN), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to forming a network of students; the Bancor Foundation, which promotes the development and adoption of the Bancor protocol; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) the world largest organization for nature conservation; Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights; and Unsung, an online community in the US that seeks to solve hunger.

“While I always cherish the opportunity to speak at length about such a fascinating industry, the chance to sit down and do so for a good cause is both exciting and inspiring. The use cases of Blockchain are limitless but the charity sector has always been an area in which Blockchain application is particularly beneficial, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash

Payments in crypto

A few weeks ago, CharityStars announced the implementation of BTC and ETH payments on their website, in order to allow their users to bid with these two popular digital currencies, and an auction to meet Cristiano Ronaldo.

The auction winner paid $36,000 worth of Bitcoin to meet Ronaldo and proceeds were donated to the Forever Dream Foundation.

Aidcoin to launch an ICO

CharityStars plans to use the Blockchain to have a more transparent system to provide users a more straightforward process of the raised funds they receive.

Because of this, they created AidCoin - a project backed by CharityStars -  to implement Blockchain in the nonprofit world.

To fund this project CharityStars launched a pre-ICO through the Eidoo ICO Engine, raising 8,333 ETH.

AidCoin is an ERC20 token - based on the Ethereum Blockchain -  that will become a method of giving and paying service fees throughout the nonprofit ecosystem. The online donation market is $15 bln in the US alone.

Also, on Jan. 16, AidCoin will launch its ICO with a price of 1,000 AID = 1 ETH.

on December 15, 2017 04:08 PM tagged with Payments

With two “Star Wars” blockbusters under his belt, John Boyega knows a thing or two about protecting spoilers during interviews and making sure nothing top secret slips from his mouth when he’s answering questions. But what happens when the interviewer just goes ahead and lets loose a massive spoiler? During an appearance on the UK’s “This Morning,” Boyega was left speechless by co-host Holly Willoughby after she revealed something huge about “The Last Jedi.”

Read More:‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Review: Here’s the Most Satisfying Star Wars Movie in Decades

Boyega reprises his role as former Stormtrooper and current Resistance fighter Finn in “The Last Jedi.” The Rian Johnson-directed sequel finds the character teaming up with friend Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and new character Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) to thwart a new threat from The First Order.

We won’t reveal what the huge spoiler is, but you can find out for yourself and see Boyega’s priceless reaction in the video below. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Sign Up:Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.
on December 15, 2017 04:07 PM tagged with Video

INTRODUCTION

If you are working on two e-commerce platform that is Flipkart and Odoo and facing difficulties in managing data on both platforms. Then in order to solve this problem, we have introduced our plugin named “Flipkart Odoo Bridge”.

Flipkart Odoo Bridge allows you to synchronize your data like Product, Orders, and Customers between Flipkart and Odoo.

Using this plugin you can import Product, Orders, and Customers from Flipkart to Odoo. Also, it exports and updates Odoo Product on Flipkart.

This plugin is dependent on “Odoo MultiChannel Sale” plugin which integrates different E-commerce Platforms with Odoo.

FEATURES

  • It import Flipkart’s Products, Orders, and Customers in Odoo.
  • It exports and updates product from Odoo to Flipkart.
  • Using this plugin you can create multiple instances for, importing data from Flipkart with a different set of configurations.
  • It does real-time stock synchronization.
  • Very simple and easy to use interface

WORKFLOW

After installing Flipkart Odoo Bridge with the dependent module Odoo MultiChannel Sale a new menu “Multi-Channel” will appear. Define all credentials and configuration correctly and then a new “Operation” tab will appear on your Flipkart Instance page.

IMPORT OPERATIONS

Using this plugin on clicking “Import Orders” button you can import Orders from Flipkart to Odoo. With Orders, the corresponding Products and Customers are also imported to Odoo.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

To import order you can define the Flipkart Order Status, according to the status the orders will be imported at Odoo end.

 If the order status is not defined then all orders will be imported irrespective of the status.

 With Orders, the corresponding Products and Customers of those Orders are also imported at Odoo end-

Mapping Order State 

In order to map Odoo Order State like- Quotation, Draft, Confirmed etc. according to the Flipkart Order State like-Approved, Cancelled, etc. you need to configure the Order States of both channels accordingly.

For example- Those orders whose state is “Approved” at Flipkart end will be mapped and synced as “Sale Order” state at Odoo end.

Also for those orders whose state is not mapped will come under “Default State” at Odoo end.

Export and Update Operation

It exports and updates Odoo products on Flipkart.

Either you can export/update all products at once or you can you export/update single product template at a time.

In this way using our “Flipkart Odoo Bridge” module you can manage both platforms Odoo and Flipkart smoothly.

Support

For any kind of technical assistance, just raise a ticket at https://webkul.uvdesk.com/ and for any doubt contact us at support@webkul.com

on December 15, 2017 04:06 PM tagged with Odoo Multi Channel Sale Connector
These titanium, brass, and Damascus steel objets d'art will long outlast the plastic doo-dad craze.
on December 15, 2017 04:06 PM tagged with Gear
The gossip site and its competitors know that it’s not just what you say—it's who you're speaking to, and from what angle.
on December 15, 2017 04:06 PM tagged with Culture
To achieve the highest ranking in the search engine, the website has to be SEO friendly. Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) has one of the most important roles growing businesses with the help of a website. Drupal is a very powerful system that ensures search website optimization with its modules. It gives us the ability to control all the elements of the web pages with the help of already installed automation tools for SEO, which places it at the very top of SEO friendly CMSs. Let's look at some examples.   SEO-friendly URLs Because search engines search for keywords in URLs, they… READ MORE
on December 15, 2017 04:00 PM

Overview:

Selling the products on Flipkart and on your own website based on CS-Cart platform and it is getting cumbersome to manage the products and orders of both on separate panels??? Then this CS-Cart Flipkart Connector is surely going to help you. With the help of this add-on, you can manage your products and orders on Flipkart via CS-Cart backend. So, export and update the product on Flipkart via CS-Cart admin panel just by configuring this simple and effective addon.

CS-Cart Flipkart Connector Features

  • Easy to configure and manage at admin end.
  • Functionality to import product listing from Flipkart by giving product SKU ID.
  • Functionality to export new product listing from cs-cart admin panel
  • The feature to export the details of the products listed on Flipkart one by one or in bulk via CS-Cart admin panel.
  • The feature to update the details of the products listed on Flipkart one by one or in bulk via CS-Cart admin panel.
  • Orders generated from the Flipkart store can be managed from the CS-Cart admin panel.
  • Functionality to import all the orders of Flipkart.
  • Admin can create order label for any Flipkart order which is in approved status.
  • Functionality to cancel any Flipkart order from CS-Cart admin panel.
  • Admin can download order invoice pdf and RTS orders in pdf.
  • Advanced filters based search option for Flipkart orders has been provided.

How To Upload And Install

After downloading CS-Cart Flipkart Connector add-on you’ll get one zip file, one install.txt file, and a relevant User Guide manual doc. Read it carefully for proper configuration.

Go to Manage Add-ons, click on “+” as shown below in the snapshot.

install

Click on “Local” to browse the zip file and then click on “Upload & Install” as shown below in snapshot.

CS-Cart Flipkart Connector

The add-on will be installed successfully with a notice to get the User Guide manual link.

Add-on Configuration

After add-on installation, we need to configure the add-on. Click on Settings as shown below.

Settings

  • You need to have seller App Id and secret key details of the Flipkart. For the seller App key and Id, you need to register as a seller with Flipkart. Click on the link to register as a seller with Flipkart.
  • Select the Test or live mode accordingly and save.

saved settings

Admin-View

Go To Marketing -> Flipkart Connector. Here the admin can manage the products and orders of Flipkart.

marketing

List of all the exported products will be there in the Manage Products tab. The fields Price, List price, Stock and status can be changed from this page itself.

manage products

How To Export Products Details to Flipkart?

Click on “+” to export a new product. Enter the product details and export. Details fields include-

  • Product to be exported.
  • FSN Number (Flipkart Serial Number).
  • HSN Number (Harmonized System of Nomenclature code used for GST).
  • Product SKU id.
  • Pricing details – MRP, Selling price.
  • GST
  • Stock count of the Product to be exported.
  • Listing Status of the Product to be exported – Active or Inactive.
  • Procurement details – Type and SLA (number of days for shipping the product)
  • Selling Region Restriction (None/National)
  • Delivery charges – National, Local and Zonal.
  • Product dimensions and weight.

export

The product will be exported successfully.

exported

Exported product(s) can be updated as well as shown below.

update exported product

There is an option to update the exported product details on the product detail page as well. A separate tab Flipkart Connector has been provided as shown below.

update product

How To Import Products From Flipkart?

An admin can import the desired product from Flipkart from the product details page. So, by entering the product SKU and clicking on Import From Flipkart, an admin can easily import the product as show below.

import

All the details will be fetched from Flipkart by importing as shown below.

imported

How To Manage Flipkart Orders?

Go To Marketing -> Flipkart Connector. Click on Manage orders to manage the orders as shown below.

Admin can view the order details, mark the order item as dispatched, and download the invoice. Advanced filter options to filter out the order has also been provided.

order management

Here’s the Flipkart order view page-

order view

Support

That’s all for the add-on “CS-Cart Flipkart Connector“, still, have any issue, feel free to write here http://webkul.uvdesk.com  and let us know your views to make the module better
on December 15, 2017 04:00 PM tagged with Flipkart Product Management
All over Silicon Valley and elsewhere, executives follow weird revitalization fads. They think the code of aging can be hacked and death made optional.
on December 15, 2017 04:00 PM tagged with Science
In the new world order, any information or data will be public information. Now we have to figure out how to live in a world without privacy.
on December 15, 2017 04:00 PM tagged with Backchannel

This is an enjoyable introduction to programming in Java by an author I have enjoyed in the past.

Learn Java the Easy Way: A Hands-On Introduction to Programming was written by Dr. Bryson Payne. I previously reviewed his book Teach Your Kids to Code, which is Python-based.

Learn Java the Easy Way covers all the topics one would expect, from development IDEs (it focuses heavily on Eclipse and Android Studio, which are both reasonable, solid choices) to debugging. In between, the reader receives clear explanations of how to perform calculations, manipulate text strings, use conditions and loops, create functions, along with solid and easy-to-understand definitions of important concepts like classes, objects, and methods.

Java is taught systematically, starting with simple and moving to complex. We first create a simple command-line game, then we create a GUI for it, then we make it into an Android app, then we add menus and preference options, and so on. Along the way, new games and enhancement options are explored, some in detail and some in end-of-chapter exercises designed to give more confident or advancing students ideas for pushing themselves further than the book’s content. I like that.

Side note: I was pleasantly amused to discover that the first program in the book is the same as one that I originally wrote in 1986 on a first-generation Casio graphing calculator, so I would have something to kill time when class lectures got boring.

The pace of the book is good. Just as I began to feel done with a topic, the author moved to something new. I never felt like details were skipped and I also never felt like we were bogged down with too much detail, beyond what is needed for the current lesson. The author has taught computer science and programming for nearly 20 years, and it shows.

Bottom line: if you want to learn Java, this is a good introduction that is clearly written and will give you a nice foundation upon which you can build.

Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the publisher as a review copy. See also: Are All Book Reviews Positive?

on December 15, 2017 03:53 PM
 Facebook today is launching a new feature designed to give users more control over what content they see in their News Feed: a “Snooze” button. The option, which will become available via the top-right dropdown menu on a post, will mute content from a person, Page or group for 30 days. The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don’t want to see,… Read More
on December 15, 2017 03:50 PM tagged with social media

If having the issue in getting parents and children categories from a category in magento2 then no need to worry about this.Here we will see how to get parents and children categories from a category in Magento2.

<?php 
 $objectManager = \Magento\Framework\App\ObjectManager::getInstance(); // Instance of Object Manager
 $categoryFactory = $objectManager->get('\Magento\Catalog\Model\CategoryFactory');// Instance of Category Model
 $categoryId = 15; // YOUR CATEGORY ID
 $category = $categoryFactory->create()->load($categoryId);
 // Parent Categories
 $parentCategories = $category->getParentCategories();
 // Children  Categories
 $childrenCategories = $category->getChildrenCategories();

?>

Hope this blog will help you.

on December 15, 2017 03:47 PM tagged with Magento2
 SpaceX has moved one step closer to its dream of affordable, efficient reusable space flight: Today for its CRS-13 resupply mission for the International Space Station it managed to launch a previously flown Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket with a flight-proven first stage booster. That’s the first time it’s flown both types of reused equipment at the same time. The… Read More
on December 15, 2017 03:47 PM tagged with Falcon 9

Video websites are being used to mine Monero off users PCs.

In the past, the likes of torrent website PirateBay has grabbed headlines for mining cryptocurrencies with users hardware.

Adguard, makers of privacy and ad-blocking software, estimate that over a billion users have had malicious software installed on their computers, which is using processing power to mine cryptocurrency Monero.

According to RT, website Openload, Streamango, Rapidvideo and OnlineVideoConverter have been accused of mining cryptocurrencies while users watch videos.

By installing software on a user’s computer, the websites allow cybercriminals to mine Monero.

Adguard Co-founder Andrey Meshkov said they discovered the activity using their software:

“We came across several very popular websites that secretly use the resources of users’ devices for cryptocurrency mining. According to SimilarWeb, these four sites register 992 million visits monthly.”

According to Meshkov, a massive amount of Monero has been mined in a very short space of time.

“The total monthly earnings from crypto-jacking, taking into account the current Monero rate, could be as much as $326,000. These are simply outrageous figures.”

Monero is simply easier to mine

While Bitcoin is the most valuable cryptocurrency, it’s almost useless to try and mine the virtual currency without specialized hardware.

Malwarebytes’ Pieter Arntz says Monero is much easier to mine, making it the go-to currency for crypto jackers.

“Monero mining does not depend on heavily specialized, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), but can be done with any CPU or GPU. Without ASICs, it is almost pointless for an ordinary computer to participate in the mining process for Bitcoin.”

If you suspect your PC is being used to mine cryptocurrency - check out our guide.

on December 15, 2017 03:45 PM tagged with Monero

Jack Black is looking to kick off 2018 with something of a career resurgence. The comedian is one of the leads in the Christmas family tentpole “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and just a few weeks later his indie comedy “The Polka King” will debut on Netflix.

Read More:‘The Godfather’ Trilogy Makes Netflix an Offer It Can’t Refuse Next Month; ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Midnight in Paris,’ Too

Directed by “Infinitely Polar Bear” filmmaker Maya Forbes, “The Polka King” tells the stranger-than-fiction true story Jan Lewan, a Polish hustler known for being the “King of Pennsylvania Polka” in the early ’90s and for running a Ponzi scheme to fund his aspiring music career. Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, and J.B. Smoove co-star.

“The Polka King” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be available to stream on Netflix starting January 12. Watch the trailer below.

Sign Up:Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.
on December 15, 2017 03:41 PM tagged with Video
 Adobe announced a record quarter yesterday with $2.01 billion in revenue for Q42017. That represents a healthy 25 percent year over year increase for the company, but about half of that continues to come from Creative Cloud. Experience Cloud, which includes Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Analytics Cloud and Adobe Advertising Cloud in many ways represents promise for even greater revenue in… Read More
on December 15, 2017 03:41 PM tagged with Shantanu Narayen

Max Keiser predicts cryptocurrency market cap to top $1 tln.

Following the launch of Bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the financial world is trying to come to grips with what Bitcoin really is.

The total market cap of cryptocurrencies has surpassed the $500 bln mark - and it’s fair to say that every financial institution is sitting up and taking stock of virtual currencies and their underlying Blockchain technology.

However, many people are still in the dark and have less than a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies.

Keiser - three characteristics of Bitcoin

In the latest edition of the Keiser Report on RT, show host Max Keiser speculated on the effect that Bitcoin futures would have on the Bitcoin market.

As per usual, he threw some pretty big numbers around, insisting that the launch of futures has made the pipeline bigger for fiat currencies to flow into Bitcoin.

However, his analysis of what truly makes Bitcoin an exceptional store of value is intriguing, given that it challenges Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper published back in 2009:

“People don’t understand that at its heart, Bitcoin is a messaging app first, a store of value secondly and a medium of exchange third. The Satoshi whitepaper is a bit misleading because it leads off by calling Bitcoin digital cash.”

“That’s kind of misleading. It’s not really digital cash until it first establishes itself as a messaging app. Money and economics are the history of communication, trade and language. Language explodes onto the scene, trade explodes onto the scene, messaging apps explode onto the scene and similarly Bitcoin has exploded onto the scene.”

Bitcoin is eating debt

Bitcoin has constantly been called gold 2.0 by various financial experts including the likes of the Winklevoss twins and Keiser himself. However, the American broadcaster insists that Bitcoin’s price needs to be related to global debt to realize it’s true potential value.

“You have to look at Bitcoin in relation to global debt. It’s not like $7 tln in gold, there’s $300 tln in debt - I’ve done the calculations. That would imply a Bitcoin price of over $2 mln a coin to monetize and get rid of that debt.”

Futures paving the way to $1 tln market cap

It’s fitting that the overall market cap of cryptocurrency has reached half a trillion dollars in the first week of Bitcoin futures trading. In relation to other markets, it is small, but considering this marks the start of mainstream financial acceptance, more money will flow into virtual currencies.

As Keiser explains, the capacity for future value is only being made bigger:

“It will create a bigger pipe for more money to flow into Bitcoin. Right now the pipe is small, it’s a relatively minuscule market compared to the bond futures, currency futures and stock futures. $5 tln in forex per day is the market. Bitcoin in that arena is a pipsqueak.”

“By expanding these futures contracts and derivatives, bringing Wall Street and Chicago into the mix, your taking that small straw which is an onramp for fiat into Bitcoin and your making it massively bigger.”

With global debt amounting to hundreds of trillions of dollars, Keiser sees Bitcoin sucking that up as the value of cryptocurrencies rises.

“The cryptocurrency market cap will top the trillion dollar level and hit multi-trillion levels because it has this amazing quantum effect, pulling all the fiat money into the Bitcoin black hole store of value.”

Check out the latest episode of the Keiser Report.

on December 15, 2017 03:33 PM tagged with Markets

It’s been a busy week for the movie business, starting with the most predictable news — the Golden Globes nominations on Monday morning — in addition to the unprecedented sale of Fox’s film and TV properties to Disney, just a few days after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” reviews landed. All three of those developments have stimulated far-reaching conversations about the art and business of making movies. In the case of the Globes, debate has focused as much on the movies that didn’t get nominated (“The Big Sick”) as the off-the-wall ones that did (“The Greatest Showman”?). But Disney’s new acquisition raises a series of more open-ended questions, from the future of the Marvel universe to the next steps for Fox Searchlight.

With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” however, one question looms above them all: How did this blockbuster behemoth turn out so good?

See More:‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Review: Here’s the Most Satisfying Star Wars Movie in Decades

All of those topics are tackled in this week’s episode of Screen Talk, as Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson dig past the headlines and debate a fall movie season that keeps getting more complicated all the way to the finish line.

Listen to the full episode below.

 

Screen Talk is available on iTunes.

You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

on December 15, 2017 03:30 PM tagged with screen-talk-177
Avira wins “Advanced+” rating in the latest “Whole-Product Dynamic Test” from AV-Comparatives - Antivirus

Avira Antivirus Pro has won another “Advanced+” seal for its performance throughout the July to November 2017 “Whole Product Dynamic Test” from AV-Comparatives. This independent test recreates the conditions faced by the average users – and their antivirus app – as they go online. Over a period of five months, researchers threw five separate batches […]

The post Avira wins “Advanced+” rating in the latest “Whole-Product Dynamic Test” from AV-Comparatives appeared first on Avira Blog.

on December 15, 2017 03:18 PM tagged with avira antivirus pro
 Amazon Alexa can now play music that’s popular in a given city through a new feature called “Local Popularity.” That means you can ask Alexa to play the “top songs in Los Angeles” or the “hits in Tokyo,” and the assistant will play different tracks every day, the company says. The goal with the addition is to aid in music discovery – by… Read More
on December 15, 2017 03:11 PM tagged with TC

US woman caught attempting to send $150,000 in cryptocurrency to ISIS. She was charged with bank fraud and money laundering.

Long Island, New York: a woman is facing up to 110 years in jail after trying to send $150,000 in Bitcoin and altcoins to ISIS.

The New York Post reported how Zoobia Shahnaz fooled banks into giving her loans and credit cards, which she then used to purchase cryptocurrencies. The loan Shahnaz secured amounted to $22,500, while several credit cards contributed to a further $62,000 in cryptocurrency sent abroad to support the terrorist organization.

Shahnaz, a US citizen, previously worked as a lab technician in a Manhattan hospital. Last year she traveled to Jordan to work with the Syrian American Medical Society as a volunteer medic in Syrian refugee camps where, according to court documents, ISIS had “significant influence.”

In July of this year, the ISIS supporter was stopped and questioned in JFK Airport, apparently on her way to Syria and prevented from boarding. She was then arrested this Wednesday and charged with bank fraud and multiple counts of money laundering, Acting​ ​US Attorney Bridget Rohde said in a statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday.

The DOJ outlined Shahnaz’s activities as follows:

“...The defendant defrauded numerous financial institutions and obtained over $85,000 in illicit proceeds, which she converted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. She then laundered and transferred the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham [ISIS]”

The same statement claims that Shahnaz was prevented from accomplishing her goals in supporting ISIS, though to what extent remains unclear. In the statement, the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney triumphantly stated:

“The FBI New York Joint Terrorism Task Force kept this woman from her dangerous and potentially deadly goal. We will do all we can to stop the next person hoping to do the same.” 

According to the statement, if convicted, Shahnaz faces a maximum of 30 years for the bank fraud charge and 20 years on each money laundering count.

Crypto’s PR woes

The events are a blow to Bitcoin proponents, who have been trying to defend the cryptocurrency’s reputation from its birth. Bitcoin skeptics regularly claim that the cryptocurrency enables illicit activities, including money laundering and support of terrorism.

In terms of terrorism, analysts have found that cryptocurrency does not play a major role in funding terrorist organizations. However, Shahnaz’s case, though isolated, certainly works against cryptocurrency’s reputation.

Following the attacks in Europe this Summer, the European Union is seeking to understand the extent to which crypto is implicated in financing terrorist groups, and potentially to decrease the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions as much as possible.

on December 15, 2017 03:01 PM tagged with Money Laundering

By David Ginsberg, Director of Research, and Moira Burke, Research Scientist at Facebook

With people spending more time on social media, many rightly wonder whether that time is good for us. Do people connect in meaningful ways online? Or are they simply consuming trivial updates and polarizing memes at the expense of time with loved ones?

These are critical questions for Silicon Valley — and for both of us. Moira is a social psychologist who has studied the impact of the internet on people’s lives for more than a decade, and I lead the research team for the Facebook app. As parents, each of us worries about our kids’ screen time and what “connection” will mean in 15 years. We also worry about spending too much time on our phones when we should be paying attention to our families. One of the ways we combat our inner struggles is with research — reviewing what others have found, conducting our own, and asking questions when we need to learn more.

A lot of smart people are looking at different aspects of this important issue. Psychologist Sherry Turkle asserts that mobile phones redefine modern relationships, making us “alone together.” In her generational analyses of teens, psychologist Jean Twenge notes an increase in teen depression corresponding with technology use. Both offer compelling research.

But it’s not the whole story. Sociologist Claude Fischer argues that claims that technology drives us apart are largely supported by anecdotes and ignore the benefits. Sociologist Keith Hampton’s study of public spaces suggests that people spend more time in public now — and that cell phones in public are more often used by people passing time on their own, rather than ignoring friends in person.

We want Facebook to be a place for meaningful interactions with your friends and family — enhancing your relationships offline, not detracting from them. After all, that’s what Facebook has always been about. This is important as we know that a person’s health and happiness relies heavily on the strength of their relationships.

In this post, we want to give you some insights into how the research team at Facebook works with our product teams to incorporate well-being principles, and review some of the top scientific research on well-being and social media that informs our work. Of course, this isn’t just a Facebook issue — it’s an internet issue — so we collaborate with leading experts and publish in the top peer-reviewed journals. We work with scientists like Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon; Sonja Lyubomirsky at UC Riverside; Dacher Keltner, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, and Matt Killingsworth from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and have partnered closely with mental health clinicians and organizations like Save.org and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What Do Academics Say? Is Social Media Good or Bad for Well-Being?

According to the research, it really comes down to how you use the technology. For example, on social media, you can passively scroll through posts, much like watching TV, or actively interact with friends — messaging and commenting on each other’s posts. Just like in person, interacting with people you care about can be beneficial, while simply watching others from the sidelines may make you feel worse.

The bad: In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward. In one experiment, University of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook. A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey. Though the causes aren’t clear, researchers hypothesize that reading about others online might lead to negative social comparison — and perhaps even more so than offline, since people’s posts are often more curated and flattering. Another theory is that the internet takes people away from social engagement in person.

The good: On the other hand, actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being. This ability to connect with relatives, classmates, and colleagues is what drew many of us to Facebook in the first place, and it’s no surprise that staying in touch with these friends and loved ones brings us joy and strengthens our sense of community.

A study we conducted with Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness. The positive effects were even stronger when people talked with their close friends online. Simply broadcasting status updates wasn’t enough; people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network. Other peer-reviewed longitudinal research and experiments have found similar positive benefits between well-being and active engagement on Facebook.

In an experiment at Cornell, stressed college students randomly assigned to scroll through their own Facebook profiles for five minutes experienced boosts in self-affirmation compared to students who looked at a stranger’s Facebook profile. The researchers believe self-affirmation comes from reminiscing on past meaningful interactions — seeing photos they had been tagged in and comments their friends had left — as well as reflecting on one’s own past posts, where a person chooses how to present themselves to the world.

In a follow-up study, the Cornell researchers put other students under stress by giving them negative feedback on a test and then gave them a choice of websites to visit afterward, including Facebook, YouTube, online music and online video games. They found that stressed students were twice as likely to choose Facebook to make themselves feel better as compared with students who hadn’t been put under stress.

In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being.

So what are we doing about it?

We’re working to make Facebook more about social interaction and less about spending time. As our CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions.” Facebook has always been about bringing people together — from the early days when we started reminding people about their friends’ birthdays, to showing people their memories with friends using the feature we call “On This Day.” We’re also a place for people to come together in times of need, from fundraisers for disaster relief to groups where people can find an organ donor. We’re always working to expand these communities and find new ways to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

We employ social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, and we collaborate with top scholars to better understand well-being and work to make Facebook a place that contributes in a positive way. Here are a few things we’ve worked on recently to help support people’s well-being.

News Feed quality: We’ve made several changes to News Feed to provide more opportunities for meaningful interactions and reduce passive consumption of low-quality content — even if it decreases some of our engagement metrics in the short term. We demote things like clickbait headlines and false news, even though people often click on those links at a high rate. We optimize ranking so posts from the friends you care about most are more likely to appear at the top of your feed because that’s what people tell us in surveys that they want to see. Similarly, our ranking promotes posts that are personally informative. We also recently redesigned the comments feature to foster better conversations.

Snooze: People often tell us they want more say over what they see in News Feed. Today, we launched Snooze, which gives people the option to hide a person, Page or group for 30 days, without having to permanently unfollow or unfriend them. This will give people more control over their feed and hopefully make their experience more positive.

Take a Break: Millions of people break up on Facebook each week, changing their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Research on peoples’ experiences after breakups suggests that offline and online contact, including seeing an ex-partner’s activities, can make emotional recovery more difficult. To help make this experience easier, we built a tool called Take a Break, which gives people more centralized control over when they see their ex on Facebook, what their ex can see, and who can see their past posts.

Suicide prevention tools: Research shows that social support can help prevent suicide. Facebook is in a unique position to connect people in distress with resources that can help. We work with people and organizations around the world to develop support options for people posting about suicide on Facebook, including reaching out to a friend, contacting help lines and reading tips about things they can do in that moment. We recently released suicide prevention support on Facebook Live and introduced artificial intelligence to detect suicidal posts even before they are reported. We also connect people more broadly with mental health resources, including support groups on Facebook.

What About Related Areas Like Digital Distraction and the Impact of Technology on Kids?

We know that people are concerned about how technology affects our attention spans and relationships, as well as how it affects children in the long run. We agree these are critically important questions, and we all have a lot more to learn.

That’s why we recently pledged $1 million toward research to better understand the relationship between media technologies, youth development and well-being. We’re teaming up with experts in the field to look at the impact of mobile technology and social media on kids and teens, as well as how to better support them as they transition through different stages of life.

We’re also making investments to better understand digital distraction and the factors that can pull people away from important face-to-face interactions. Is multitasking hurting our personal relationships? How about our ability to focus? Next year we’ll host a summit with academics and other industry leaders to tackle these issues together.

We don’t have all the answers, but given the prominent role social media now plays in many people’s lives, we want to help elevate the conversation. In the years ahead we’ll be doing more to dig into these questions, share our findings and improve our products. At the end of the day, we’re committed to bringing people together and supporting well-being through meaningful interactions on Facebook.

on December 15, 2017 03:00 PM tagged with Hard Questions
ConsiderThis

Daniel Day-Lewis is unsurprisingly great in “Phantom Thread,” the thrice-awarded thespian’s supposed swan song, but the movie doesn’t belong to him. That honor goes to the remarkable Vicky Krieps, who’s far from a newcomer but essentially unknown on this side of the Atlantic — outside of “A Most Wanted Man” and “Hanna,” most of the Luxembourgian thespian’s work has been in Germany. One suspects that’s about to change.

Day-Lewis plays a mid-century fashion designer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, which reunites him with his “There Will Be Blood” star a decade later. Brilliant and neurotic, the esteemed Reynolds Woodcock can’t stand deviations from his routine and, according to his old so-and-so of a sister (Lesley Manville), is disoriented for the rest of the day whenever breakfast doesn’t go exactly as planned — which makes it a minor disaster when Alma (Krieps), whom he meets in a seaside inn, scrapes her toast even more loudly than she pours her tea.

Read More:‘Phantom Thread’ Breakout Vicky Krieps Had No Idea She Auditioned for a Paul Thomas Anderson Film

Opposites attract, and so do people who may not belong together despite intense mutual attraction. Reynolds and Alma at first appear to be two sides of the same coin: he an exacting artist, she a swaggering muse. “For my hungry boy,” the waitress writes on a note upon meeting him. “My name is Alma.” He asks her to dinner; she says yes.

Far from a pushover, Alma proves to be a creative force unto herself. She’s happy to resist Reynolds’ many attempts to put up a wall between her and his work, carving out a space for herself as their push-pull power dynamic becomes ever more combative and passionate. “Phantom Thread” isn’t quite the movie it initially appears to be, and each reveal of what Anderson is really up to is paired with a moment of surprise from Krieps; like Alma, she’s so compelling a presence as to eventually become the main focus of attention.

Save for a few outbursts of anger, most of them arising from his work being interrupted, Reynolds finds Day-Lewis at his most subdued in many moons — allowing room for Krieps’ clever playfulness to come to the fore. It’s a stellar performance sure to be recalled as the moment she announced herself to the world.

During a recent discussion, the actress elaborated on her revelation that she originally thought she was auditioning for a student film, revealed her approach to working alongside Day-Lewis, and alluded to the ghost haunting one of her favorite scenes in “Phantom Thread” — which didn’t make it into the final film.

“Phantom Thread”

Krieps was on a bus when she first received an email from her agent about the project, which is why she didn’t know who was involved with it. “There was Paul’s name there, of course, but I really just scrolled down to the document — which I always do, because I always want to first know what’s the script, what’s the language,” she said. What she found wasn’t an entire screenplay, “just some text from Alma. And that, of course, got my attention straight away because it was interesting and unusual.”

Being more interested in the what of the movie than the who was the cause of her initial confusion about “Phantom Thread,” but Krieps was still pleasantly surprised when her agent told her who was directing it. “Like always, I’m not a big fan of names. It was not like, ‘Paul Thomas Anderson, my favorite.’ I just knew all his movies and loved them for a million reasons, not so much for his name.”

The same is true of her co-star, arguably the most revered actor on the planet — and, with three Oscars to his name and a well-known penchant for immersing himself in his characters both on and off set, one of the most intimidating. Krieps, quietly eloquent and with a calm air about her, had a strategy for acting opposite Day-Lewis, who far all intents and purposes was Reynolds Woodcock during production.

“At first I decided not to think about it too much because I knew I could only lose — how can you prepare for something that’s supposedly so crazy and far out? — so I tried to forget everything about Method acting,” she said. “I didn’t google it; I didn’t google him. I just wanted to get into it and then just meet, you know, let the experience do the talking. Doing it was surprising — how I could relate to it, how it didn’t feel strange at all.”

“Phantom Thread”

She may not have googled Method acting, but her own in-the-moment style proved to be surprisingly compatible with it.“I would never say I’m a Method actor,” she said. “I’m not a fan of methods of any kind; I hate definitions of things; I really believe in all of chaos — but I think that my way, how I go, I also end up in this space where you are completely now. I often have the feeling that acting is really not difficult because all I do is I just listen. I just listen. I just listen to what there is. And if there’s nothing, then I listen to nothing. If there’s a chair and it’s empty, I listen to an empty chair and I will respond to it.”

She added that there was an instinctual element to her process. “It’s actually really just listening and being aware, honestly aware, which is only possible if you empty yourself of your fears and of your ego and all of this shit, you know?” she said. “If you are empty like this, you can really listen, and then all you have to do is respond — which is then easy.”

The same indifference toward the notion of celebrity that colored her response to the news of working with Anderson extended to Day-Lewis’ retirement announcement, which Krieps heard about from her neighbor: “Yes, of course it’s important, but it’s also just a man deciding something for his life.”

Her focus always returns to the work and its effect on her — even if some of it was left on the cutting-room floor. “It’s not in the movie anymore, but there’s a scene that was very strong where Alma goes and wanders off on her own in the country house and finds the wedding dress of their mother,” she said. “She takes it out and actually tries it on; she’s discovered by Cyril [Manville]. And that was a scene that was just unlike anything I’ve ever done — it was like there was a ghost in the room the whole time. It really was.”

There’s a similar feeling throughout “Phantom Thread,” albeit with one key difference: You can see the ghost as she haunts you, and you don’t want her to leave.

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on December 15, 2017 03:00 PM tagged with Vicky Krieps

By Shruthi Muraleedharan, Product Manager

One of our core News Feed values is giving people more control. Today, we’re launching Snooze, which will give you the option to temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days. By selecting Snooze in the top-right drop-down menu of a post, you won’t see content from those people, Pages or groups in your News Feed for that time period.

Seeing too many photos of your uncle’s new cat? Is your friend tempting you with endless photos of ramen on her Japan trip? It turns out, you’re not alone. We’ve heard from people that they want more options to determine what they see in News Feed and when they see it. With Snooze, you don’t have to unfollow or unfriend permanently, rather just stop seeing someone’s posts for a short period of time. The people, Pages, and groups you snooze will not be notified. You will be notified before the Snooze period is about to end and the setting can also be reversed at any time.

Controls for your News Feed aren’t new. With features like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First, we’ve consistently worked toward helping people tailor their News Feed experience, so the time they spend on Facebook is time well spent. As News Feed evolves, we’ll continue to provide easy-to-use tools to give you the most personalized experience possible every time you visit Facebook.

on December 15, 2017 03:00 PM tagged with News Feed FYI
 Say “goodbye” (in the AOL voice, if possible) to Aol Instant Messenger. Back in October, Oath (the combined entity of Yahoo and Aol) announced that it would shutter AIM on December 15. Yes, today is the day. All good things come to an end. On Dec 15, we'll bid farewell to AIM. Thank you to all our users! #AIMemories https://t.co/b6cjR2tSuU pic.twitter.com/V09Fl7EPMx —… Read More
on December 15, 2017 02:52 PM tagged with AOL

The CW’s “Riverdale” is one of TV’s most talked about series, but one scene in the Season 2 episode “Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil” caught most fans off guard. The Archie Comics adaptation has always pushed the envelope with the edgy reimagining of the classic comic, but a striptease scene involving 16-year-old Betty Cooper has given fans pause.

In “House of the Devil,” Betty (Lili Reinhart) helps her boyfriend Jughead (Cole Sprouse) throw a retirement party for his father, who has decided to leave behind his biker gang, The South Side Serpents. Jughead had previously joined the gang during his father’s stint in prison. Worried about her boyfriend’s safety and wanting to be a part of his world, Betty decides to join the gang herself. Her initiation? A pole dance at the gang’s bar hangout.

Read More:Dylan Sprouse on His Killer New Role, Life After Disney, and Why He Doesn’t Watch ‘Riverdale’

Although the ritual is explained to Betty as something sexist and archaic, Betty still decides to dance and does so during the retirement party in front of Jughead, his father, her own mother, and a bar full of middle-aged male members of the South Side Serpents. Fans were surprised and uncomfortable by Betty’s striptease, which was awkwardly soundtracked to “Mad World,” no less.

In a new interview with Glamour, however, Reinhart defends the scene against fan backlash. The actress explains that while she didn’t anticipate the scene receiving as much controversy as it did, making fans uncomfortable was exactly the point.

“People were very caught up with the fact that Betty is 16 and she’s dancing around all these men,” Reinhart tells Glamour. “But that’s the point. That scene was supposed to make you uncomfortable because you’re watching this girl do something completely out of her comfort zone for the man that she loves. You’re watching her make a personal sacrifice, and that is the most important takeaway.”

Reinhart says that Betty was going “to the dark side” for Jughead out of love. But at the end of the episode, the sacrifice was in vain as Jughead breaks up with Betty. It should be noted that Jughead never slut shames Betty for the dance and only breaks up with her to keep her safe. “He’s trying to protect her from that darkness, but she wants to be part of it,” Reinhart said.

Part of the fan backlash over the scene has to do with the fact that it aired in an atmosphere where so many women are speaking out about sexual harassment. Anyone thinking Reinhart might have been coerced into filming a scene that she was not entirely comfortable with can rest easy, as Reinhart says this was not the case. She worked alongside “Riverdale” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to make sure the scene felt appropriate and safe.

Read More:‘Arthur’ Meets ‘Riverdale’ In This Hilarious Parody of the Edgy Teen Drama — Watch

“We totally talked about it ahead of time,” Reinhart said. “It was kind of an ongoing situation. The first draft that I got didn’t feel right to me, so I called Roberto and was like, ‘I think this should happen. This is how it should be.’ We worked it out. It was all very well-thought-out and not spontaneous. It was planned and premeditated, so I was a part of it from the beginning. I wasn’t surprised.”

Reinhart also says that she turned down pole dancing classes because she felt that Betty wouldn’t know what she was doing, although she admitted filming the scene still wasn’t easy. “It was very intimidating,” Reinhart said.

“Riverdale” is currently on hiatus for the holidays and will return with new episodes on January 17.

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on December 15, 2017 02:45 PM tagged with The CW

The opening moments of “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” unfold like an urgent warning to any parents who might think that this is just another kid-friendly animated film about cute animals who learn valuable lessons. “The future is past,” a voice insists from the darkness, speaking in Spanish and accompanied by exclamatory subtitles (an English-language version is also available). “The garbage is the present. Blood is the law!” From there, we’re hurled through the history of a once-vibrant storybook world, a colorful idyll where bunnies and mice and all sorts of creatures lived in harmony until a nuclear disaster scorched the island and turned its survivors against each other.

Adorable silhouettes bleed into red and black monsters, and the nice sounds of nature are replaced by a queasy synth score that sounds like it was borrowed from “The Neon Demon.” Within minutes, we’re introduced to a young mouse named Dinky (whose foster parents shame her with a Baby Jesus figurine that cries blood), a pre-teen rabbit who’s haunted by demonic voices, and a fascistic pair of police dogs who shoot anyone who steps out of line. By the time we’re formally introduced to the title character — a moon-headed chick who wears a tattered business suit and silently mourns his murdered father — it barely even registers that he’s a heroin addict.



A hand-drawn head-trip directed by Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero — and adapted from Vázquez’s graphic novel, “Psychonauts” — “Birdboy” thrives on the disconnect between the innocence of its fluffy heroes and the despair of the life they’ve inhabited. And yet, the film is never the least bit smug about the subversiveness of its conceit; there’s absolutely no attempt at shock value. On the contrary, this dark and mesmerizing import feels like a natural segue in a conversation started by the likes of “Maus” and “Watership Down,” Vázquez and Rivero using anthropomorphic critters to grapple with subjects that might be painful to confront directly. It weaponizes their innocence without letting it go.

Read More:‘Birdboy: The Forgotten Children’: Inside the Year’s Darkest, Most Daring Hand-Drawn Animated Movie

“Birdboy” doesn’t have a plot so much as it does a drifting premise, but the main thread that wends its way through the film’s scattered 76-minute running time involves Dinky and her friends trying to escape their island home. Their haphazard journey is interrupted by a number of strange asides, each a bit more nightmarish than the last; one sequence, in which a drug-dealing swine named Pig Boy confronts the giant spider who lives underneath his dying addict mother, borders on a “Twin Peaks” level of terror. Every character we meet is in crisis, even the inflatable rubber duck that Dinky hopes will carry away from this hell (levity comes in the form of a Hertzfeldt-esque alarm clock who was programmed to feel pain). In a movie that manages to feel both overloaded and spread too thin, it helps that there’s always something new to fear and/or pity.

On that note, it also helps that “Birdboy” employs a slightly different style for each of its many different parts. The young characters seem plucked from a fairy tale, while the older ones — particularly the haggard rats who live on the dark side of the island and fight each other over scraps of trash — look like old Disney cartoons who aged out of the spotlight and fell on (very) hard times. “Not everything with a body is alive,” someone warns. The cumulative effect is that of a broken world in which kids are conditioned for a violent type of self-sufficiency and trained to think of everyone as their enemies.

Each societal malady becomes an excuse to restrict freedoms and encourage forgetting; nobody can remember why Birdboy is in exile, and it seems like Dinky and her friends are the last generation that might even vaguely remember a better yesterday. Whether explicitly grappling with the Spanish heroin epidemic that bled through Vázquez’s childhood, or more broadly likening a child’s loss of innocence to a toxic cloud settling in over Eden, “Birdboy” creates a tortured dreamscape that’s riddled with golden pearls of hope.

This is a beautiful film, and an ugly one, and the tension between those two sides doesn’t abate until the very last scene. But even (or especially) at its most frightening, “Birdboy” flaps its wings and tries to fly true, urging viewers of all ages to create a new world instead of nesting in the rotten one they inherited. As abstract as this story can be, its miasma of morbid imagery sells that core idea with all the clarity of a fable. These characters may have been born into a sea of garbage, but they don’t have to die there.

Grade: B+

“Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” opens in theaters on December 15th.

on December 15, 2017 02:31 PM tagged with Reviews

Matt Damon is once again stirring the pot when it comes to sharing his opinions on sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood. The “Downsizing” actor joined Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers for a video interview and expressed his belief that the punishment should fit the crime when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations, meaning not all men should be punished the same if the type of misconduct is different.

Read More:Matt Damon Admits He Heard About Harvey Weinstein Sexually Harassing Gwyneth Paltrow

“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior,” Damon says. “And we’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

Damon admits that all sexually inappropriate behavior “needs to be confronted,” but he also says that a “continuum” exists between certain examples of harassment and abuse. According to Damon, rape and child molestation are criminal while “other stuff” is simply just “shameful and gross.”

“All of that behavior needs to be confronted, but there is a continuum,” he says. “And on this end of the continuum where you have rape and child molestation or whatever, you know, that’s prison. Right? And that’s what needs to happen. Okay? And then we can talk about rehabilitation and everything else. That’s criminal behavior, and it needs to be dealt with that way. The other stuff is just kind of shameful and gross.”

To prove his own point, Damon explains the difference between accused predators Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken. The former has been accused of both sexual harassment and rape, while the latter has been accused of groping women and was even photographed touching a reporter’s breasts while she was asleep.

“When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera, going like that, you know, that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that,” Damon says. “But when you talk about Harvey and what he’s accused of, there are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. There’s no witnesses. There’s no pictures. There’s no braggadocio…So they don’t belong in the same category.”

Damon has been in the headlines several times during the wave of sexual misconduct allegations coming out of Hollywood. The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman accused Damon of helping to kill a Harvey Weinstein harassment story in 2004, which the actor denied. Weeks later, Damon admitted that he was told Weinstein had harassed Gwyneth Paltrow decades ago but he remained silent.

For more of Damon’s controversial opinions, watch his sit down video interview with Travers here.

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on December 15, 2017 02:18 PM tagged with Sexual Harassment

A Debian LTS logoLike each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Individual reports

In October, about 144 work hours have been dispatched among 12 paid contributors. Their reports are available:

  • Antoine Beaupré did 8.5h (out of 13h allocated + 3.75h remaining, thus keeping 8.25h for December).
  • Ben Hutchings did 17 hours (out of 13h allocated + 4 extra hours).
  • Brian May did 10 hours.
  • Chris Lamb did 13 hours.
  • Emilio Pozuelo Monfort did 14.5 hours (out of 13 hours allocated + 15.25 hours remaining, thus keeping 13.75 hours for December).
  • Guido Günther did 14 hours (out of 11h allocated + 5.5 extra hours, thus keeping 2.5h for December).
  • Hugo Lefeuvre did 13h.
  • Lucas Kanashiro did not request any work hours, but he had 3 hours left. He did not publish any report yet.
  • Markus Koschany did 14.75 hours (out of 13 allocated + 1.75 extra hours).
  • Ola Lundqvist did 7h.
  • Raphaël Hertzog did 10 hours (out of 12h allocated, thus keeping 2 extra hours for December).
  • Roberto C. Sanchez did 32.5 hours (out of 13 hours allocated + 24.50 hours remaining, thus keeping 5 extra hours for November).
  • Thorsten Alteholz did 13 hours.

About external support partners

You might notice that there is sometimes a significant gap between the number of distributed work hours each month and the number of sponsored hours reported in the “Evolution of the situation” section. This is mainly due to some work hours that are “externalized” (but also because some sponsors pay too late). For instance, since we don’t have Xen experts among our Debian contributors, we rely on credativ to do the Xen security work for us. And when we get an invoice, we convert that to a number of hours that we drop from the available hours in the following month. And in the last months, Xen has been a significant drain to our resources: 35 work hours made in September (invoiced in early October and taken off from the November hours detailed above), 6.25 hours in October, 21.5 hours in November. We also have a similar partnership with Diego Bierrun to help us maintain libav, but here the number of hours tend to be very low.

In both cases, the work done by those paid partners is made freely available for others under the original license: credativ maintains a Xen 4.1 branch on GitHub, Diego commits his work on the release/0.8 branch in the official git repository.

Evolution of the situation

The number of sponsored hours did not change at 183 hours per month. It would be nice if we could continue to find new sponsors as the amount of work seems to be slowly growing too.

The security tracker currently lists 55 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file 35 (we’re a bit behind in CVE triaging apparently).

Thanks to our sponsors

New sponsors are in bold.

No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled.

on December 15, 2017 02:15 PM
 Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and myself — Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Eric Liaw from IVP to dig through the pre-Christmas news. Normally, happenings are slow this time of the year. But, living up to its reputation as a year-apart, 2017… Read More
on December 15, 2017 02:10 PM tagged with IVP

We’re happy to announce that Amasty’s Magento developer Stanislav Pomaleyko successfully completed the Zend PHP Certification exam and became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer. Congrats to Stas on his achievement! We caught him for a flash interview about his experience with acquiring the badge. The Rogue Wave Zend Certified PHP Engineer is an industry-wide standard […]

The post Amasty’s Stas Pomaleyko became a Zend Certified PHP Engineer appeared first on Magento blog: technical tips and e-commerce guides from Amasty.

on December 15, 2017 02:09 PM tagged with Amasty Team

This extension allows the admin to provide the functionality to have a separate vendor sub-domain for the opencart marketplace vendors . The separate vendor domain will work for – profile, category, compare, manufacturer, product, search, and the special pages. This means that the customer can access these pages via the vendor profile page under the seller sub-domain.

**Note: This extension is an add-on to the Webkul’s Opencart Marketplace Multi-Vendor module. You must first install Webkul’s Opencart Marketplace Multi-Vendor module to make use of this extension.

Features

  • The vendor can have their own sub-domain.
  • Allows admin to add prefix with vendor’s sub-domain.
  • Easy to read and identify URLs for vendor ’s sub-domain.
  • The customer can access to vendor profile page via vendor’s sub-domain.
  • Customers can search for the vendor’s products from the vendor’s profile page having the vendor sub-domain.

Installation

Customers will get a zip folder and they have to extract the contents of this zip folder on their system according to your Opencart version. The extracted folder has admin, catalog, and ocmod folders. You need to transfer the admin and catalog folders into the Opencart root directory on the server as shown below.
Installation

Once you have uploaded the folders, Navigate to Extensions> Extension Installer and upload the XML file. The XML file can be found on ocmod folder under module directory. In the ocmod folder select the Opencart version you are using under which you will find wkvendordomain.ocmod.xml file.
Extension Installer

After uploading the XML file go to the Extensions > Modification and click on refresh field.
Modification Refresh

After that in Admin panel go to System -> Users -> User Groups and edit  ‘Administrator’ and choose to select all for both Access and Modify Permission and save it.
User Groups

 Translation

As this Opencart Marketplace Vendor Sub-domain extension supports multiple languages, so this section will describe how to make the module work in different languages. Please check this link for language translation.

Admin-Configuration

The admin will navigate to Extensions>Modules>Webkul Marketplace Vendor Domain. Here, the admin will install and enable the Webkul Marketplace Vendor Domain extension.
Install Extension

After clicking on the edit button, a new page will open up from where admin can configure the module.
Admin Configuration

Here, the admin can –

  • The admin can enable or disable the module.
  • Set the Shop URL Prefix(Only Characters, Numbers, and Underscore are allowed). The default prefix is Shop.
  • Enable or disable the seller’s products(If enabled then then the current vendor’s products will be displayed on the vendor domain otherwise all products will be displayed).

**Note: Some Server configuration is required, where you need to map your domain name to *.domain.
For example: example.com to *.example.com.

Workflow-Frontend

Vendor Profile Page:

Here, you can see the prefix added by the admin from the back-end, the vendor screen-name that is taken up from the seller details section along with the domain name. Lastly, you can see the current page that is the seller profile page.

Example: shop(prefix)-webkul(shop name).seller.oc.webkul.com(domain name)/seller-profile

The customers can go to the vendor profile page and from here they can search for the respective vendor’s products or can go to the category pages to check the vendor’s available products(if the setting Display Seller’s product is set as enabled else all products will be visible).

Seller Profile Page

This screen name is actually the Shop Name that is added by the customer whilst registering as a vendor at the registration page.

Vendor Shop Name

Seller-Profile:

Navigate to Extensions>Modules>Marketplace>SEO Setting>Create SEF Links. Here, the admin will have to enable this setting and set the SEO Keyword For Store Page to seller-profile.

SEO Keyword For Store Page

Vendor Product Page:

On the vendor profile page, the customers can go to the respective vendor’s product page that is having the same vendor sub-domain.

Seller Product Page

Vendor Search Page:

On the vendor profile page, the customers can go to the search box to search for the respective vendor’s products. The search results returned will have the same vendor sub-domain.
Seller Search Page

That’s all for the Opencart Marketplace Vendor Sub-domain module, still have any issue feel free to add a ticket and let us know your views to make the module better https://webkul.uvdesk.com

on December 15, 2017 02:09 PM tagged with opencart marketplace vendor subdomain
The inside story of how the automaker turned a pickup truck powerplant into a Le Mans-winning supercar engine.
on December 15, 2017 02:08 PM tagged with Transportation
Migrate (almost) goes stable in Core

For those following along from the sidelines, Drupal 8 core has 3 modules that make up the migrate sub-system. For the past few years, the community has been working very hard to get these to a stable state an out of their "experimental" designation. Drum role please... as very soon the first of these modules is going to do just that. Go stable. The migrate module (also known as the API module) should have its last critical release blocker committed in the next few days. At which point, this module can be called stable.

Admin User Fri, 12/15/2017 - 08:06
on December 15, 2017 02:06 PM
 SpaceX is taking another shot at a historic launch today, should everything go as planned. It’s targeting a launch window of 10:36 AM EST (7:36 AM PST) this morning for its CRS-13 mission, which is its 13th resupply mission for the International Space Station. The mission will deliver a payload of around 4,800 lbs of supplies and experimentation materials for ISS research. It’ll… Read More
on December 15, 2017 02:05 PM tagged with SpaceX
Plus: How Ford built a new engine for its GT supercar.
on December 15, 2017 02:00 PM tagged with Transportation
The Athenian Project: Helping Protect Elections

The Athenian Project: Helping Protect Elections

From cyberattacks on election infrastructure, to attempted hacking of voting machines, to attacks on campaign websites, the last few years have brought us unprecedented attempts to use online vulnerabilities to affect elections both in the United States and abroad. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security reported that individuals tried to hack voter registration files or public election sites in 21 states prior to the 2016 elections. In Europe, hackers targeted not only the campaign of Emmanuel Macron in France, but government election infrastructure in the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Cyber attack is only one of the many online challenges facing election officials. Unpredictable website traffic patterns are another. Voter registration websites see a flood of legitimate traffic as registration deadlines approach. Election websites must integrate reported results and stay online notwithstanding notoriously hard-to-model election day loads.

We at Cloudflare have seen many election-related cyber challenges firsthand. In the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Cloudflare protected most of the major presidential campaign websites from cyberattack, including the Trump/Pence campaign website, the website for the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, and websites for 14 of the 15 leading candidates from the two major parties. We have also protected election websites in countries like Peru and Ecuador.

Although election officials have worked hard to address the security and reliability of election websites, as well as other election infrastructure, budget constraints can limit the ability of governments to access the technology and resources needed to defend against attacks and maintain an online presence. Election officials trying to secure election infrastructure should not have to face a Hobson’s choice of deciding what infrastructure to protect with limited available resources.

The Athenian Project

Since 2014, Cloudflare has protected at-risk public interest websites that might be subject to cyberattack for free through Project Galileo. As part of Project Galileo, we have supported a variety of non-governmental election efforts helping to ensure that individuals have an opportunity to participate in their democracies. This support included protection of Electionland, a project to track and cover voting problems during the 2016 election across the country and in real-time.

When Project Galileo began, we did not anticipate that government websites in the United States might be similarly vulnerable because of resourcing concerns. The past few years have taught us otherwise. We at Cloudflare believe that the integrity of elections should not depend on whether state and local governments have sufficient resources to protect digital infrastructure from cyber attack and keep it online.

The common mission of those working on elections is to preserve citizen confidence in the democratic process and enhance voter participation in elections1. To protect voters’ voices, election websites and infrastructure must be stable and secure. Prior to an election, websites provide critical information to the public such as registration requirements, voting locations and sample ballots. After an election, websites provide election results to citizens.

The institutions in which we place our trust must have the tools to protect themselves. Voter registration websites must stay online before a registration deadline, making it possible for voters who want to register to do so. Election websites should be available on election day notwithstanding increased traffic. Voters should have confidence that officials are doing everything they can to safeguard the integrity of election and voter data, and that election results will be available online.

That is why today, we are launching the Athenian Project, which builds on our work in Project Galileo. The Athenian Project is designed to protect state and local government websites tied to elections and voter data from cyberattack, and keep them online.

U.S. state and local governments can participate in the Athenian Project if their websites meet the following criteria:

  1. The website is managed and owned by a state, county, or municipal government; and
  2. The website is related to

  • The administration of elections, including the provision of information related to voting and polling places; or
  • Voter data, including voter registration or verification; or
  • The reporting of election results.

  • For websites that meet these criteria, Cloudflare will extend its highest level of protection for free.

We recognize that different government actors may have different challenges. We therefore intend to work directly with relevant state and municipal officials to address each site’s needs.

Protecting our Elections

In the last few months, we have been talking to a number of government officials about how we can help protect their elections. Today, we are proud to report that we helped the State of Alabama protect its website during its special general election for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

“In this year’s historic Senate Special election, it was crucial that our website be able to handle spikes in traffic and remain online in the event of attack,” said Jim Purcell, Acting Secretary of Information Technology for the State of Alabama. “It is very important to our state government and democracy as a whole that voters and the public be able to access registrar, election information, and election results. Cloudflare proved to be an excellent partner, helping us achieve this goal.”

By allowing voters to exercise their rights to register to vote, speak, and access information, the Internet can and should play a helpful role in democracy. Democracies depend on voters’ voices being enabled, not silenced. Helping to provide state and local governments the tools they need to keep websites online and secure from attack as they hold and report on elections restores the Internet’s promise and serves Cloudflare’s mission of helping to build a better Internet.

  1. State of New York Board of Elections mission statement.

on December 15, 2017 02:00 PM tagged with Legal
 I’ve been holding a few micro meet ups over the past few years and thought I’d start it up again in honor of token/ICO mania. I’d love to hear what you all are working on in the New York area so we’ll all meet at Union Hall in Brooklyn next Wednesday at 7pm. The event is very informal and we’ll plan the next few months of micro-meetups during the event. My goal is… Read More
on December 15, 2017 01:50 PM tagged with rsvp
 We’re slowly moving from the Big Data era to the “OMG HOW MUCH DATA?!,” to use the technical term. But, all joking aside, it’s getting bigger, or worse, depending on your point of view. By some estimates over 2.5 Quintillion (yes, that’s a thing) bytes of data are now generated by us daily and this is increasing exponentially monthly. Of course, most of that data… Read More
on December 15, 2017 01:37 PM tagged with blockchain

Zac Efron has joined the cast of Harmony Korine’s new film, “The Beach Bum.” Efron is set to play a character named Flicker opposite Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Jimmy Buffet, and Snoop Dogg. The film is currently wrapping production in Miami, Florida.

Read More:News Film TV Awards Toolkit More Search Harmony Korine Set to Adapt Controversial Teacher-Student Sex Novel ‘Tampa’

“The Beach Bum” is Korine’s first feature since 2012’s “Spring Breakers” became his biggest project to date, grossing over $31 million worldwide and introducing the “Kids” scribe to a whole new generation of audiences. “The Beach Bum” has been billed as a “stoner comedy” — though one expects with Korine that it isn’t your traditional one — and stars McConaughey as the titular character, a rebellious stoner named Moondog who lives life by his own rules. Efron’s Flicker is one of the characters Moondog meets on his journey. NEON picked up distribution rights to “The Beach Bum” in May 2017. The film is co-produced by John Lesher, the Oscar-winning producer behind “Birdman,” in addition to Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Korine’s producer since “Mister Lonely.”

Efron has mostly starred in studio comedies such as “Baywatch,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” and the “Neighbors” franchise as of late, making “The Beach Bum” a rare opportunity for the 30-year-old actor to up his auteur game. Korine previously worked with with former Disney stars after collaborating with Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens on “Spring Breakers.”

Efron can next be seen in the musical “The Greatest Showman,” in theaters December 20.

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on December 15, 2017 01:30 PM tagged with Zac Efron

Gunpowder” invites a lot of comparisons to “Game of Thrones.” Much of the three-hour series is spent watching Kit Harington swing his sword around, sport period garb while walking through castles, deliver stirring motivational speeches, and recruit an army to defend his fellow men from persecution. Future generations can look at .gifs of a grimacing Harington and guess, “‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Gunpowder’?”

As fun as that sounds, the limited series deserves slightly more respect than such frivolity implies. It’s an earnestly made, well-told, true story about a group of 17th century Catholics who rebelled against a Protestant king that saw their faith as a threat and wanted them eliminated. Dragons do not belong here, nor should one wish for them to fly in and set the world ablaze.

But while “Gunpowder” tells its story clearly and respectably — previously unaware British viewers will see Guy Fawkes Day differently — its handsome presentation and effective plotting don’t add up to more than a dutiful shrug. Much like the failed Gunpowder Plot, this depiction of history from the perspective of the powerless fails to spark.

Read More:The Best TV Performances of 2017

The first half-hour is torture — OK, it’s not torturous, but watching persecuted Catholics be tortured does become a bit of a slog, and remains so for most of the series. Those initial 30 minutes can be neatly categorized as anxiety-induced mental torture and visually charged physical torture. In its opening 15, the audience is asked to patiently wait through an arduous investigation, as a diplomat of the king, Sir William Wade (Shaun Dooley), pokes and prods around a suspected hideout for Catholics. Robert Catesby (Harington) and his fellow faithful watch in restrained dread as Wade and his goons politely dust up the place, but rather than a tense, dreadful sequence (a shot of a man casually knocking a book off a table captures the scene’s true level of intensity), it feels like a means to an end.

That’s because it is: The next scene finds Robert watching in restrained anger as his captured Catholic cohorts are tortured in the town square. (Torture is one theme that’s hard to miss.) One unfortunate woman is stripped naked and slowly crushed with metal weights, quickly establishing a bro-heavy story made with similar sensitivities toward nudity and violence as “Game of Thrones” (i.e. “Gunpowder” ain’t for the prudish). The point of all this is to illustrate why Robert does what he does next: gather an army, start a rebellion, and try to kill the king.

Gunpowder Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler is in “Gunpowder,” her first TV role since “The Leftovers.”

Robert Viglasky/HBO

Whether the writers (Ronan Bennett, Daniel West, and Harington himself) needed to spend one-sixth of the series establishing Robert’s motivation isn’t really the question, but how the storytellers use that time is a bit more problematic: “Gunpowder” deals in blunt force trauma, but — like the death-by-weights — it’s unnecessarily drawn out. You feel the minutes ticking by, except (unlike the weights) you’re not supposed to; Even at just three hours, the series could’ve used some additional cuts. Had it been a TV movie, it would’ve been one of HBO’s better entries in recent memory. (That “Gunpowder” originally aired on BBC One means that was never really an option for HBO, but the point stands.)

Harington and his co-stars do what they can to elevate the importance of the extraneous moments. Pretty much across the board, the performances are at least solidly serviceable and at most passionately gripping. Harington doesn’t have to stray too far from his longest-running role, Jon Snow, but that he’s well-suited for the part shouldn’t be a strike against him. Be it a part right in his sweet spot or a personal motivation to serve this story — Harington is a descendant of the real Robert Catesby — he carries the series, even when he’s not playing history’s most well-known character.

Read More:‘Twin Peaks’: Kyle MacLachlan Thinks ‘The Return’ Is a Film, Even Though the Golden Globes Nominated Him for TV

And that brings us to Guy Fawkes (played with spitting commitment by Tom Cullen): “Gunpowder” doesn’t really know what to do with him. The most well-known figure of the story gets a killer introduction to close the first hour, but drifts in and out of the series like a scary ghost. Is he a man to be feared? A regrettable recruit? A misunderstood student of the cause? He’s always been known more as the face of the failed Gunpowder Plot than the key orchestrater, but the series presents him as both a vicious brute and an admirable martyr. It’s as though the writers thought, “OK, people think Guy Fawkes is a fool for getting caught, so let’s repair a 400-year-old bad rap by making him mega-jacked and ardent to the point of insanity.”

Though not the story’s focus, Guy becomes a slight distraction. Similar lapses stack up over time (villainous caricatures, underdeveloped women), allowing the viewer’s mind to wander. That’s far from a damning sin, but it’s enough to recognize “Gunpowder” could’ve been better. Harington fans will be happy to see him back on HBO before “Game of Thrones” returns, but the series may draw the line between fans of the actor and fans of his action-packed fantasy show. Anyone wishing for a dragon cameo should check yourself, but that won’t stop you from thinking about it.

Grade: B-

“Gunpowder” premieres Monday, Dec. 18 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

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on December 15, 2017 01:30 PM tagged with TV Reviews

Although online merchants are often worried about sales losses during the Christmas and New Year holidays, in fact, this is a perfect time for enhancing the purchasing activity if the appropriate sales channels are used.

12 Tips to Boost Facebook Sales during the Christmas and New Year Season

In this article, we will find out how holiday sales can be driven in a web store with such a powerful social platform as Facebook.

12 Tips to Increase Facebook Holiday Purchases

Learn About your Audience

Before starting an ad campaign on Facebook, you should find out what audience segments are interested in your brand. Using the Facebook Page Insights you can do this quite easily.

The service gives you the information about the visitors’ behavior on your Facebook brand page, including the number of people reached by your posts and the number of those engaged by them, your average response speed to customers’ questions, and so on.

With the information provided by Page Insights, you can determine your audience segments and then decide how your holiday advertising campaign will look like.

Experiment with Ad Types

When it comes to ad creation, Facebook demonstrates all its power here. Depending on the format of your content, the service allows you to create various types of advertising posts.

Besides the traditional photo and video ads, you can design, say, carousel ads, to which up to 10 images can be uploaded. This ad format allows you to promote a variety of holiday sales in a single post.

Other ad post types include link ads with hyperlinks to, say, the holiday catalog of a store, dynamic product ads, local ads, canvas ads (full-screen interactive ads adapted for mobile devices), etc.

Note that you can also perform A/B testing of your ad posts to find out which post types work better. For this purpose, use the Facebook Split Testing feature.

Engage Custom Audiences

With the Engagement option of the Facebook Ads service, you can optimize your promotions to get more people to visit your Facebook brand page and interact with it in some way, for example, watching your videos, sharing your posts, etc.

This way, you can increase the number of loyal customers during the holiday season. The people you will be targeting are already familiar with your brand and may have a positive attitude towards it, so there is a high chance that this attitude will be further improved through the custom targeting.

Create Content with Strong Visual Elements

Hubspot states that Facebook is a perfect platform for visual content, so do not miss the opportunity to add beautiful pictures, animated GIFs, and videos to your posts.

For the Christmas and New Year season, Facebook highly recommends online businesses using moving images on the corresponding topic to attract even more visitors’ attention to their posts.

Publish Emotional Content

Not so long ago, Facebook allowed users to show their reaction (not just likes or dislikes) to posts. People like to express emotions, and now, they can do this just by clicking on the “Like” button under a post.

Creating emotionally engaging content is particularly important during the Christmas and New Year holidays when people are literally filled with warm feelings and cannot wait for the celebration.

A few years ago, the Iberia Airlines company created the New Year video ad series imbued with love and attention. In the result of this advertising campaign, the company managed to gather more than 4 million views.

So, consider creating posts that may appeal to people’s heartstrings, and you will be pleasantly surprised by their feedback.

Use Calls-to-Action

Recently, Facebook has introduced its new advertising feature that allows adding call-to-action buttons to ad posts. With no doubt, CTA is a powerful incentive to encourage visitors to perform the desired action.

Moreover, the system allows setting custom calls-to-action according to your business goals that may notably increase the click-through-rates of your ad posts during the holidays.

Still, CTAs may not be necessarily presented in the form of buttons. In addition to that, you can publish the whole call-to-action posts on your Facebook brand page. Moreover, such posts may not express an immediately obvious intent to sell something.

Take, for example, the Nestle Toll House company that used the CTA technique in its Facebook posts by asking customers to remember their best holiday baking moments. Although this example relates to Halloween, the idea is clear, and such method can be implemented for any holiday.

As a result, this move facilitated the customer engagement with the Nestle Toll House brand and helped to drive more sales during the holiday.

Perform Live Videos

Live videos allow engaging customers in the life of a company. If people are already interested in your brand and its products, they will likely watch your live broadcast to get to know you a bit more. This will strengthen their loyalty and may attract the attention of new customers to your brand as well.

Holidays are also a good reason to perform live video broadcasts. Since the Facebook Newsroom resource states that the Facebook live videos are viewed three times more often than the recorded ones, consider using the Facebook Live service to show people how holidays, say, the New Year, are celebrated in your company.

In addition to presenting your corporate culture in the live broadcast, you can also announce some exclusive offers that will be available only during the time of holidays. Also, think about organizing draw games with prizes given through random picking or, say, answers to the live chat questions, etc. Here, Facebook does not restrict your choice of the live broadcast format.

Focus on your Brand Identity

Besides live broadcasts, a good way to tell people about your brand is to share a story with them.

A few years ago, the Country Road fashion retailer organized the New Year campaign by telling visitors holiday gift stories. As a result, this Facebook ad campaign drove five times more sales in the Country Road’s physical stores than in its web stores proving that online campaigns may resonate with offline customers as well.

People love stories, so why not telling some holiday ones to engage them with your brand?

Offer Last-minute Sales                                                                                    

During the holidays, you may probably end up with having a certain quantity of unsold products that you need to get rid of asap. In this case, consider offering customers last-minute sales, perhaps, with discounts.

Note that you can promote sales, including the last-minute ones, by using Facebook Offer Ads.

Promote Posts

In addition to publishing advertising posts, you can promote usual posts due to the Facebook Promote Your Post function.

The feature allows you to promote the corresponding post to the people who already liked it and for those audience segments that are the friends of your Facebook followers.

Another tip is to analyze the popularity of particular posts (that are not ads) after a while and then choose the most popular ones, in terms of the number of likes and shares. These posts will be the targets for promotion, as you already know that they are able to bring the desired results.

Advertise Events

The posts showing a clear intent to sell something do not always work as expected for any online business. Rather, constant product ads may result in notable declines in the number of your Facebook followers.

Considering this fact, think about publishing posts with different advertising messages conveyed.

For example, instead of promoting products, you can promote events of various characters. If you are running a clothing web store, you can promote, say, a Christmas catwalk event. In case of, say, a jewelry store, it can be an opening of a local outlet. Adjust this method to the specifics of your business and enjoy the results!

Monitor Offline Conversions

Analyzing the efficiency of particular ad posts is another important aspect to consider when planning an ad campaign on Facebook.

The sure way to do this is to use the Facebook Offline Conversions service. With it, you can upload offline purchase files (which may contain customer contact info, products purchased, etc.) to Facebook, and then Facebook will match this data with the users, to whom the corresponding Facebook ad was shown.

This way, Facebook evaluates its contribution into offline sales and allows you to determine the efficiency of your ads.

Due to this solution, you can determine which Facebook product ads worked best before the holiday season and then consider modifying them, for example, by offering seasonal discounts to some purchases when the holidays begin.

Conclusion

Facebook is a powerful social networking platform that provides a wide set of features designed to enhance the advertising opportunities of online businesses. By combining various Facebook solutions, you can effectively increase your sales during this holiday season.

The post 12 Tips to Boost Facebook Sales during the Christmas and New Year Season appeared first on Magento blog — news, tips and analytics.

on December 15, 2017 01:05 PM tagged with Tips and Tricks
Rian Johnson didn't just make a great movie—he tore down every sacred cow reactionaries have left.
on December 15, 2017 01:05 PM tagged with Culture
Current trends say generating new bitcoins will use all the power in the world by 2020. That might not happen, but the technical issues aren't going away.
on December 15, 2017 01:05 PM tagged with Science
Bitcoin and blockchain have burst into the mainstream. But its biggest value is not in replacing traditional cash.
on December 15, 2017 01:05 PM tagged with Backchannel

If the whole of the world economy is in a bubble, then maybe the way out is maximizing open source money through mechanisms like ICOs.

Miko Matsumura, the founder of Evercoin cryptocurrency exchange, was one of the pioneers of the first wave of internet boom as a Chief Evangelist for the Java Language and Platform. He has been active in the Silicon Valley for over 25 years and has raised $50 mln in capital for open source startups. As a board member of the Liberation Institute, which is known for providing scale and donation based clinical mental health counseling and services to underserved populations, he also has his philanthropic side.

Miko has been active in his support for the crypto community and acts as an advisor to several initial coin offerings (ICOs) including the ICO of NAGA, which ends on Dec. 15, 2017.

We asked Miko some questions about the current state of the crypto economy and other related issues:

Cointelegraph: Do you think the crypto-economy is in a bubble?

Miko Matsumura: I believe the entire world economy is a much bigger bubble. But to be more concise, I think there are some things that make cryptocurrency a much more fragile bubble. So the variable that matters most is not bubble or no bubble, as all economic activity can be viewed as a bubble. The variable that matters the most is fragility, and fragility is always relative to specific threat scenarios involving a collapse.

CT: Could you explain a bit more about this fragility?

MM: One source of fragility is the inability to exchange cryptocurrencies for many useful things. In particular in economics there is something called a Keynesian accelerator, which is related to the healthy circulation of money in an economy. To put it simply, if a customer buys a loaf of bread from a baker, the baker can turn around and use that same money to fix his shoes, and the shoemaker, in turn, can then buy flowers from the flower seller. This is because money is widely accepted. One of the signs of fragility of cryptocurrencies is that they are almost entirely used to buy other cryptocurrencies, with a few notable exceptions such as virtual non-fungible trading cats and of course the ubiquitous Bitcoin debit card which can be used to pay for most things.

CT: How can cryptocurrencies surmount this challenge?

MM: I am advising a company that is working on a crypto point-of-sale device that should enable people to buy everyday items in retail stores for cryptocurrencies. But until we see a strong and useful interconnect between the crypto economy and the "real" economy, we will not experience economic stability for cryptocurrencies. One very significant form of exchangeability is the ability to pay taxes with cryptocurrency, which is only available in very few places. Another variable that could cause the bubble to "pop" could be a regulatory backlash by governments. This could be due to too many scams or significant harm coming to retail investors.

CT: What do you think about Blockchain tech and developments like ICOs?

MM: In certain African countries, Zimbabwe for example, the local currency has failed the people. One guy I met at a Bitcoin conference was handing out 50 tln dollar Zimbabwe bills. There are currencies (like Dala) that have the potential to reach many millions of underbanked Africans, and so I am thrilled by the potential of decentralization to lower the cost structure of delivering utility services to a much wider collection of people.

CT: What do you think about ICOs?

MM: ICO is a mixed bag. The flood of capital has led to some pretty incompetent people taking money, which of course will lead to a bad reputation for cryptocurrencies. Lots of energy and time is being wasted. However, it's important to see all of these factors in balance. If you look at a half trillion dollar crypto "ball," if you assume that five bln has gone into ICO (the true amount is hard to measure because of the run up in the prices of cryptocurrencies) it's actually only about one percent of the total value of all cryptos.

CT: What makes ICOs investment worthy?

MM: I can share with you some ideas about what makes for a credible ICO in my opinion.

First and foremost I care a lot about the people. One big factor is chemistry and enthusiasm because I am a value-adding early stage investor, I preserve my enthusiasm and look for teams that spark something in me. Secondly I think there has to be a connection between what I call "heaven and earth," or the broad platform play (take over the world) and the narrow "solving a problem" play (just get some customers to pay you). It helps a lot if there are Metcalfe’s Law network effects like a social graph and data effects on top of the network effect you get from your token. Finally, I need some real confidence that the team can do the job. One of my favorite things is a team that has already shipped an application that already has paying customers. This takes most of the risk out of it. If a team is unable to deliver software, then there's no way they can produce any economic value.

CT: What factor helped you decide that you would become an advisor to NAGA?

MM: I agreed to advise the NAGA group because they already shipped SwipeStox which has a social network effect and already trades real-world stocks. Connecting that with the broader vision for a unified trading platform for public stocks, cryptocurrencies and virtual assets combines practical and measurable execution with an "eat the world" vision. Also I liked Yasin Qureshi, executive director of NAGA.

CT: What do you think about Bitcoin Wall Street FOMO? Do you think Silicon Valley has similar fears?

MM: I think Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is dangerous because it's emotion driven. I think there is a strong Metcalfe's law quality to the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but I think the process of investment should be free of emotional attachments. I know this contradicts my earlier statement about being enthusiastic about founders, but I think investing in a startup is different from investing in a multi-hundred billion dollar coin.

Silicon Valley seems to be slowly pushing into Bitcoin and crypto. There's a culture here around disruption, so there's a comfort level with innovation and creative destruction.

CT: Do you think you are an ideological believer in cryptocurrencies?

MM: I am certainly passionate about the potential for cryptocurrency and I believe we are still in the early stages of a transformation of the world economy that will lead to the largest wealth transfer in human history, certainly in our lifetimes.I certainly follow an ideology when it comes to cryptocurrency, but I am not a crypto-anarchist, crypto libertarian or crypto utopianist. I believe in what I call ‘Open Source Money’ which is about a competition between a bunch of currencies about who can be the most performant, the most inclusive, the most secure, the most trustworthy, the least fee-laden, the most exchangeable, the most widely accepted currency. So you could call me an Open Source Money Maximalist.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

on December 15, 2017 12:51 PM tagged with Cryptocurrencies

Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, comments on Bitcoin and the possibility of a digital dollar.

The outgoing US Federal Reserve (the Fed) chair, Janet Yellen, commented on Bitcoin and the Fed’s relationship to the digital currency at a press conference in Washington on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Yellen addressed three areas relating to cryptocurrency -- speculation, regulation and government-issued digital currencies. On the nature of Bitcoin, she commented that though the cryptocurrency has seen a remarkable growth in recent months, it is still a “highly speculative asset” and “not a stable source of value." She also noted that Bitcoin remains a very small part of the overall payment system.

Yellen also commented on the Fed’s relationship to Bitcoin. She reiterated her 2014 position that the Fed does not have the authority to regulate the cryptocurrency. On Wednesday, she confirmed that the scope of the Fed’s regulatory power extends only to those banking institutions that they already supervise, stating:

"The Fed doesn't really play any regulatory role with respect to Bitcoin, other than assuring that banking organizations that we do supervise are attentive, that they are appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring anti-money laundering, bank secrecy act responsibilities that they have.”

Yellen noted that the Fed does not differentiate between Bitcoin and any other type of currency -- the central bank is responsible for supervising other banks, regardless of the currency being used.

A crypto-dollar?

During the conference, Yellen also made a distinction between decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin that are neither issued nor given value by any particular state, and digital currencies issued by governments themselves.

She stated that, though central bankers globally are discussing the option of making centralized digital currencies that constitute legal tender, at the present moment, the Fed has no serious intention of introducing a digital dollar. She stated:

"I really want to caution, this is not something the Federal Reserve is seriously considering at this stage. While we're looking at research on this topic, there are, I think to my mind, limited benefits from introducing it, a limited need for it and some substantial concerns."

This year multiple governments around the world have indicated their intention to research and implement a national digital currency. Just in the past few months, the governments of Catalonia and Russia declared their interest in issuing their own official digital currencies. Other states, such as Dubai, have already officially decided to do so.

on December 15, 2017 12:16 PM tagged with Cryptocurrencies
Attorneys general in five states say they'll sue to overturn the FCC's decision to repeal its net neutrality rules. Officials in Washington and California propose their own net neutrality rules.
on December 15, 2017 12:05 PM tagged with Business
While we were freaking out about the state of American politics, tech kept moving on.
on December 15, 2017 11:50 AM tagged with Backchannel
 Uber has announced it’s launching a free insurance package for independent couriers delivering food for its Uber Eats business in nine European markets. It says all couriers with an active account in the covered markets will be able to take up the product free of charge. Read More
on December 15, 2017 11:19 AM tagged with insurance

Introduction

PayPal is the faster, more secure way to pay online. Odoo Marketplace Paypal Adaptive Payments – will split the payment among seller and admin dynamically. PayPal for Marketplaces is a comprehensive payments solution for marketplaces. So, Use PayPal to sell goods and services in an online marketplace. It’s a quick way to reach more customers and grow your business.

Important Note: Adaptive Payments is now a limited release product. It is restricted to select partners for approved use cases and should not be used for new integrations without guidance from PayPal. You can check it on Paypal

NOTE: This Module is dependent on Odoo Multi-Vendor Marketplace

Features

    • Payment will be split between seller and admin.
    • Enable/disable payment method from admin panel.
    • Admin will get the commission based on sellers.
    • This module will support(Parallel, Delayed Chained, Instant Chained)adaptive payment.
    • Under Delayed chained, the admin has the functionality to pay back to its sellers.
    • Payment Transaction is updated by IPN ensuring higher security.

Installation

After buying this app from our Webkul store you will get the link for downloading the zip file. Simply download it and extract then you will see the payment_paypal_adaptive folder, now you will have to copy this app folder inside your Odoo addons path.

Now simply follow these steps:
1. Go to settings menu and click on Activate the Developer mode.
2. Now go to apps menu and Click on ‘Update Modules List’.
3. Remove the app’s filter and search for the payment_paypal_adaptive key.
4. Now you will see the module then simply install it.

After installing you will be able to handle different functionality as mentioned in module’s workflow.

Workflow

Let us check how this module works.

Admin has to fill correct Paypal API details to get paid.

There are three payment methods/types available on the page: Parallel, Chained and Delayed Chained

Parallel Payment Method: Choosing the parallel method of payment, the customer will be able to see the sellers share in the payment and the admin’s share separately on the payment page.

Let us say a customer orders 2 products from seller 1 and seller 2. Then the customer will be shown the seller1 share, seller2 share and admin share from the payment. But the percentage share for the seller will be decided by the admin.

Chained Payment Method: In case the admin is not willing to show the payment split to the customers hence in that case the admin can choose the chained payment method. With this payment method customer will not be able to see the seller(s) and the admin share separately. Customer will only see the total amount, not the split in the amount like it was shown in the parallel payment method

Delayed Chained Payment Method: In this case,  once the customer makes the payment the entire amount goes to the admin account. Here admin gets an additional functionality to Pay to all secondary receivers (sellers). With this payment also, a customer will not be able to see the seller(s) and the admin share separately.

In case admin has to pay to the secondary receivers,  it gets 90days to release the payment to the sellers. On the expiry of these 90days, an admin will not be able to process the transfer to sellers.

Sellers has to fill his/her correct Paypal id to get payment from marketplace admin.

Paypal setup

This process is a little bit complicated so you need to follow the guidelines as per the below screenshots.

Backend View

Admin can see all the transaction and its status at Odoo End.

Full Details Of Transaction

Admin can see full details of the transaction, it’s status and payment receivers details etc.

Seller Payment Details

Once payment gets success then seller payment will be created and paid automatically.

Paypal account Details

Paypal account details will be shown under Payment Details Tab inside seller profile from.

Website view

 Buyer/Customer can pay using Paypal Adaptive Acquire.

Paypal Website Page For Payment

Here the customer can see payment details and proceed with payment.

Back To Website

After payment done by Paypal, the buyer will be redirected back to your website with payment status corresponding to order.

Support

For any kind of technical assistance, just raise a ticket at https://webkul.uvdesk.com/en and for any doubt contact us at support@webkul.com
on December 15, 2017 11:02 AM tagged with Odoo Marketplace Paypal Adaptive Payment Acquirer

Waves releases the 1.0 version of its platform, overhauls it with an emphasis on throughput and user-friendliness.

Blockchain platform Waves is gearing up to release its “totally redesigned” version 1.0 Wednesday after an 18-month development phase.

A press release issued Wednesday gives extensive details of the token launcher and wallet’s redesign, something Waves alleges places greater emphasis on user-friendliness.

Preparations surrounding the release began last month after a stress test of the forthcoming new technology called Waves NG was completed.

Waves NG aims to address the issue of Blockchain reliability under heavy loads, occurring during events such as token distribution.

Waves has made advances in its native jurisdiction this year, achieving regulatory prominence through partnering to support the Moscow Stock Exchange at a time when the country’s long-term angle on Blockchain and cryptocurrency remained uncertain. The platform has also made inroads internationally.

As the country creates a dedicated Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association, open attitudes to Blockchain, in contrast to Bitcoin and others, are combining with authorities’ desire to attract European investment, especially in the mining arena.

on December 15, 2017 11:01 AM tagged with Mining
Estimations - Amazee Agile Agency Survey Results - Part 7

This is part 7 of our series processing the results of the Amazee Agile Agency Survey. Previously I wrote about defining work, this time let’s focus on estimations. How do you estimate and who does estimations in your teams?

Josef Dabernig Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:46
Estimations

First, we asked about how teams estimate. 43.3% of the contestants answered “Estimation is done in days/hours”, 20% say “Estimation is done in story points based on complexity” and 16.7% mentioned, “Estimations in done in story points based on effort”. The remaining answers of 3% each varied in different degrees of combined estimations, i.e. teams would estimate on a higher level using story points and compare then against hour based task estimations. Also one of the 30 contestants answered that they don’t do estimates at all. For some background information, you can refer to this article on story points.

Agile How do you estimate

At Amazee we do two different kinds of estimations. We estimate in days for the offers that we create and put a general price tag below the contract. This is intended to fix a budget but not to guarantee an exact feature set to be delivered. When we go to the implementation phase, teams estimate Jira tickets using story points. The story points are based both on complexity and effort, based on our velocity we can related story points to a price tag and compare against the initial offer and how much budget is left.

Agile Who does the Estimations

We also asked about who is involved in estimation. 50% say that “the entire team does all estimations”, 36.7% mentioned that “a tech lead does high-level estimates, the team estimates on a lower level”. 6.7% say that “a tech lead does all estimates”.

For us, at Amazee we tend towards having a tech lead doing high-level estimates and having the team estimate on individual stories and tasks which get prepared for a sprint to work. The tech lead role can be fulfilled by any developer of a Scrum team and may change however the team and the team lead decide it would work best. More complex offers get challenged by multiple developers, more straightforward suggestions will be estimated by only one developer together with the PO. All proposals get reviewed by management. When the team does estimations, we do them along with the entire Scrum team. In some instances, we will limit the number of people in estimation meetings to find a balance between shared knowledge and how much time can be spent discussing as a group of people.

How do you estimate? Please leave us a comment below. If you are interested in Agile Scrum training, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stay tuned for the next post where we’ll look at client interactions.

on December 15, 2017 10:46 AM

Bloomberg adds the three altcoins to its terminal just as they are experiencing explosive growth.

Ripple (XRP) has hit huge new all-time highs as the altcoin joins Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) in debuting on Bloomberg Terminals.

News that Bloomberg had added the three cryptocurrency assets to its benchmark price tracker sent XRP soaring to almost $0.90 per coin - an increase of almost 300 percent in just three days.

The publication’s journalist Lily Katz confirmed the additions Thursday.

This week has seen altcoins broadly return to form after several weeks of intense investor attention on Bitcoin, which also hit new all-time highs Friday of almost $17,900.

ETH and LTC have surpassed short-term expectations in recent days, rising to above $750 and $300 respectively.

In addition, Dash almost claimed the $1,000 price tag before correcting down towards $900, all assets following in the steps of Monero, which suddenly rallied to three times its price over the past two weeks.

Markets are likely set to see further flux into and out of Bitcoin over the coming weeks as a host of hard forks make their debut, investors keen to access duplicate balances tradeable on exchanges.

Super Bitcoin held its network snapshot this week, while Bitcoin Platinum, Bitcoin God and Bitcoin Cash Plus are also due to do so before the end of the year.

Bitcoin Silver and Bitcoin Uranium are also planned, while Bitcoin Diamond futures are already being tracked on Coinmarketcap.

on December 15, 2017 10:19 AM tagged with Bloomberg
 “There are two types of competition for us at Loot: the banks and the money management apps,” Loot founder Ollie Purdue tells me. The U.K. startup, founded in 2014 while now 24 year old Purdue was finishing up university, offers a digital-only current account aimed at students and millennials. Read More
on December 15, 2017 10:01 AM tagged with Loot
 Airwallex, an Australia-based fintech startup that helps banks and businesses handle cross-border transactions at scale, has closed a $6 million investment ahead of a planned Series B next year. The new funding comes from Square Peg — a VC firm located in Melbourne, the same city as Airwallex HQ — which joins Tencent, MasterCard, Gobi Ventures and Sequoia China as backers of… Read More
on December 15, 2017 09:16 AM tagged with square peg

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on December 15, 2017 09:09 AM